Sakaria Taufao offered her victim a “ride”, then took her to a remote area and raped her. Photo / Provided
An Uber driver who took his passenger to a remote area and raped her could be deported to New Zealand when he is released from prison.
Sakaria Taufao, 51, was sentenced to seven years in prison for the rape, which took place in Ipswich, near Brisbane in 2015, ABC reported.
The court in Taufao’s case heard he had found the 18-year-old victim and offered him a “ride” when he was on his way home from the nightclub. He told the woman he was an Uber driver.
But as soon as taking her to her car, Taufao turned off her Uber app – disabling GPS – and took her to a remote area and raped her.
He then put her down and continued to take a driving job, the ABC said.
At his trial, Taufao’s defense was that the prosecutor had “the wrong person” and that the case was “entirely indirect”.
In his closing filings on Thursday, defense attorney Dominic Nguyen said the prosecution “had the wrong people” and the case was “completely indirect”.
Nonetheless, a jury found Taufao guilty this week of one count of rape, ABC reported.
During his sentence at District Court in Brisbane, Judge Michael Burnett described the offense as “calculated and predatory”, saying Taufao “used and abused his role as an Uber driver to lure him into his vehicle”.
He said he had taken advantage of a “drunken and vulnerable young girl”, whom he violated “in the most reprehensible way”.
ABC also said Taufao was charged with three counts of rape in another case, but was found not guilty at trial last year.
Despite being given seven years for offenses in Ipswich, Taufao has already served 3.5 years in prison and is already eligible for parole on a matter that was recently sentenced.
He will face deportation to New Zealand when released, the ABC reported.
Nathan Evan’s classic NZ ocean hut, The Wellerman, is loved by over 1.2 million followers and the collaborative video is inspiring. Photo / TikTok
When Scottish postman and part-time singer Nathan Evans posted a video of himself singing a 200 year old sea hut, he probably didn’t expect his little boy to go viral.
The original TikTok video shows Evan singing a heartfelt version of the song called The Wellerman. The song originates around 1860 and is widely understood to have originated in New Zealand.
The full title of the famous sea hut is Soon May The Wellerman Come, which refers to the supply ship owned by the Weller Brothers.
British-born trader Weller Brothers managed a supply ship to New Zealand in the 1800s. The employees working on the supply vessels, which supply New Zealand whalers with supplies, are colloquially known as ‘wellerman’.
The songwriter is unknown. Shanties were very popular with sailors at the time, but they were not often written down on paper, but traveled by word of mouth. Soon May The Wellerman Come was first published in a New Zealand folk songbook in 1973.
Evan’s The Wellerman on TikTok is liked by more than 1.2 million followers. Not only that, the heartfelt song has inspired other talented TikTok-ers to collaborate.
Coat everything from bass vocals for electronic beats and a violin, TikTok users have made sea huts an absolute banger.
The defendant in the trial will watch the trial from inside a cage which is prohibited. Photo / Getty Images
The largest mafia trial in more than 30 years is set to begin, as more than 350 mafia suspects and their collaborators face trial in a large custom-built courtroom in southern Italy.
On trial will be a member of the ‘Ndrangheta, a network of clans based in Calabria, at the toe of the Italian boot.
It is considered the most powerful of the Italian mafia organizations, having surpassed Sicily’s more famous Cosa Nostra.
“It is the most dangerous and exists on every continent,” said Nicola Gratteri, a leading prosecutor at the trial who has lived under police protection for 30 years.
“And it’s the richest because it has a virtual monopoly on the import of cocaine into Europe,” he told AFP, guarded by three plainclothes police officers wearing black balaclavas to hide their identities.
Drug trafficking generates’ Ndrangheta around € 50 billion euros a year. The network is also notorious for its brutality – last week it claimed that a businesswoman from Calabria was killed and fed pork in 2016 after refusing to sell her land to a man with ‘Ndrangheta connections.
Defendant Mafiosi faces charges ranging from murder and attempted murder to drug trafficking, money laundering and extortion.
Also on trial are accountants, lawyers, civil servants and politicians suspected of working with mafia bosses. More than 900 prosecution witnesses will be summoned in the trial which will involve 400 lawyers.
It is the largest mass trial since the 1980s, when a similar judicial marathon held in Palermo dealt a crushing blow to the Cosa Nostra mafia in Sicily.
The trial process, which is expected to last at least two years, will take place in a fortified courthouse in an industrial area outside the city of Lamezia Terme in Calabria.
The members of the mafia on trial came from a clan in the city of Vibo Valentia, and did not include the powerful godfather based in the southern city of Reggio Calabria.
One of the most prominent figures on trial is Luigi Mancuso, who is suspected of continuing to run drug trafficking operations despite spending most of his adult life behind bars.
“I think the impact of the trial will be limited because it doesn’t target the most important person, apart from Mancuso,” said Anna Sergi, an expert on Italian mafia at Essex University.
“He is the youngest of 11 children, a very charismatic figure. He is considered the leader of the sect,” he told the British Telegraph. “He’s a major player in the drug trafficking and creating connections all over Europe, especially in Germany.”
‘Ndrangheta – a name that comes from a Greek word meaning “society of respectable people” – has so far only “spread” in Britain, said Prof Sergi.
“They use the London banking system to launder money from all over Europe but they don’t have as much physical presence in the UK as in other countries.”
Gratteri, the prosecutor, has deep knowledge of ‘Ndrangheta – as a boy he went to school with the children of the mafia bosses. “I understand their criminal philosophy, their reasons,” he said.
After seeing the corrupt influence of the masses in his home area, he said he had vowed to do something about it when he grew up.
Many of the defendants were arrested during a series of coordinated pre-dawn raids in Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Bulgaria in December 2019.
At one of the raided properties, police find a piece of paper with details of a secret blood oath to be sworn by new recruits’ Ndrangheta, laden with esoteric references to swords and white horses.
The raids were raids carried out by members of the police, some of whom were equipped with night-vision goggles, as well as soldiers from the Army parachute regiment and elite tactical units carried by helicopters.
New Zealand’s lauded response to Covid-19 has been laid on a Kiwi unit against the virus – but also the daily messages of Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Jacinda Ardern. Photo / Ross Giblin
New Zealand’s “team of five million” has been credited relentlessly for eradicating Covid-19 – but how can our leaders unite us when scientific evidence is ignored elsewhere?
Victoria University researchers have studied transcripts from a 1pm media conference, a regular Kiwi show this year, in search of communication lessons for future crises.
“We are widely and deserving of praise for having an evidence-based response to the pandemic, but our response is not just facts and figures,” said Dr Courtney Addison.
“It reflects profound ideas about right and wrong, about the value of life, and about what we owe as citizens.
“We are now asking how questions of right, wrong, good, bad, obligation and solidarity manifest in our leaders’ explanation of the pandemic – and their response to it.”
Addison and master student Dinithi Bowatte were already studying Kiwi scientific knowledge of Covid-19 when, in mid-2020, he and his colleague, Associate Professor Rebecca Priestley turned to the way science was explained to the public.
Since then, he’s worked closely with fellow anthropologist Dr Jane Horan to interview Kiwis, while Priestley – a prominent science communicator in his own right – has worked with media studies expert Dr Alex Beattie to analyze briefing transcripts.
The work all led to a project Addison and Bowatte led, focusing on the role ethics plays in direction.
More specifically, they want to understand how “anthropological ethics” is applied.
It is the assumption that local factors – be they social, cultural, political or economic – determine how we decide what is good or beneficial.
“This perspective also treats ethics as something we do through our relationships – when we try to do what’s right by each other and by ourselves,” Addison explained.
“So, applying this theory to our Covid-19 response, we are asking what moral reasons are important here in Aotearoa.”
In the new study, funded only by a Health Research Council grant, Bowate will examine transcripts to highlight what is known as “moral talk.”
“Those are references to good, bad, right, wrong, risk, concern, solidarity, responsibility, best interest, and so on,” explained Addison.
Researchers sought to identify themes that stood out, such as whether some explanations were given more weight than others – and if these changed over time.
Bowatte says some interesting changes have been documented by the researchers.
“What is surprising this year is research showing that Kiwi confidence in science, scientists and even politicians has increased as a consequence of our successful national response to Covid-19,” he said.
“That’s very interesting because it can easily fall that trust, as we have seen elsewhere around the world.”
He said a 1pm briefing from Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and health director general Dr Ashley Bloomfield ultimately proved a big part of how Kiwis access and understand scientific knowledge.
“I’m very interested in knowing about the way they talk, or the things they say, that convince the public to believe they know what they’re doing,” he said.
“I think understanding these things can help the broader field of science communication, because we have serious scientific issues like climate change that need to be discussed – but it’s important that we talk about them in a way that empowers the broader public.
“The communication that comes out of our national response is strong enough to make the Kiwi effectively ‘unite against Covid-19’.
“It would be great if we could learn from this experience to prepare for the inevitable challenges we will have to face in the future.”
Associate Prime Minister Juliet Gerrard’s chief science adviser agreed Kiwi’s trust in the experts made a “big difference” in tackling the threat.
Risk communication is one of the most frequently asked topics by his international colleagues.
“You can get the best scientific advice in the world – but as tragically illustrated in some countries, it makes no difference if nobody believes it.”
The Health Ministry’s own chief science adviser, Dr Ian Town, also praised Bloomfield and Ardern’s cautious and unifying message from the Beehive’s podium – but also the efforts of all Kiwis this year.
He was immediately treated with a pool of blood next to him on the floor while he had blood all over his arm.
She was helped off the floor and it was later revealed that she needed eight stitches in her mouth.
Post match Clippers coach Tyronn Lue said “He got up and walked off the floor, so he’s going to do well”.
Another superstar teammate, Paul George, was dumbfounded at that moment.
“Really worried,” said George. “I was thinking about the worst. I don’t know if he had a concussion or how hard he hit or what really happened, because I didn’t see him. I just saw him lying on the ground. That is first and foremost, just making sure he is all right. only. “
Clippers teammate Nicolas Batam admitted it was a creepy scene.
“You don’t want a player, any player, (to) come down like that with blood all over his body and all over the floor,” said Batum. “I think he’s good. I just saw him in the dressing room; he’s fine, and it was a little scary at the time.”
It must be the worst elbow a team-mate has ever seen. Kawhi’s face was reset.
Leonard scored 21 points for the game with George scoring 23 points, while Nikola Jokic led the Nuggets with 24 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds.
WARRIORS COP 60-YEAR HIDING
On a Christmas Day packed with unequal results, the Golden State Warriors took it to the next level.
The Warriors never caught up to Giannis Antetokounmpo’s Milwaukee Bucks.
But Giannis took a back seat as Khris Middleton scored 31 points in a monster game as everyone on the roster was able to contribute.
It was a 138-99 win over the Warriors, the second-most lopsided blow in an NBA Christmas game, beaten only by the Syracuse Nationals 162-100 win over the New York Knicks in 1960. So, it could get worse.
The Bucks beat the Warriors in the second half, winning 72-43.
“We just wanted to make a show,” said Middleton.
This gave the Warriors a 0-2 start to the season and they are the first team since the 1989-90 Warriors to lose their first two games by at least 25 points.
At -65, the Warriors also have the second-worst points difference through two games, beaten only by the Clippers 1987-88, who had -71 and claimed the worst record in the NBA that season.
REASON HILARIOUS LEBRON FOR AIRBALL
If you want proof that superstars can still make mistakes, look no further than LeBron James against the Mavericks.
The Lakers led 91-79 in the third quarter when King was fouled and sent to the free-throw line.
In the instant that the commentators were about to miss, LeBron made a startling mistake.
It did not escape journalists after the match and LeBron, with a big smile on his face, said he needed to change the way he drinks wine in the future to avoid mistakes from happening again.
“What I told you last night when I drank the wine straight down to the left side of my body. Tonight I did free throws with my right hand so it has bad side effects. So I’ll see if I can drink the wine if I can shoot it at right side of my body maybe it will help my free throw and it will give me a little more power to where it doesn’t hit anything at all so we’ll see, we’ll see what happens. Maybe I should drink tonight upside down, maybe vampire style, we’ll see. “