There must be something in the water…..

Another day and another high profile Australian swimmer (allegedly) caught with illicit drugs, this time it is Australia’s comeback king – Mr Geoff Huegill.

Mr Huegill and his wife were allegedly charged with the possession of cocaine after stewards at the Australian Turf Club became suspicious of two persons in the disabled toilet at the Randwick racecourse and notified the Police. The pair were subsequently arrested and escorted from the venue and are to appear before the Waverley Local Court in the coming weeks.

After ballooning to 138kg in retirement after a successful Olympic career Huegill trimmed down and once again competed at a top level claiming two Commonwealth Games gold medals in Dehli in 2010.

Now it would be easy to ridicule yet another high profile athlete hoovering lines in a bathroom stall in a prestigious area of Sydney’s premier racing venue but the more serious side to the story is why are high profile sports men and women using such illicit drugs? Is it the pressure of the competition, the monotonous and rigorous training, the 5am starts or is it a problem that is far more widespread in our society that the media and the Government care to acknowledge.

Huegill is not the first Australian swimmer to have an issue with illicit or restricted substances. In October 2011 the Police were called to Olympic swimmer Grant Hackett’s house after a domestic disturbance which Hackett attributed to the prescription sleeping medication ‘Stillnox’. Hackett has recently completed rehabilitation for his addiction in the US.

Another Australian Olympic swimmer, Scott Miller, recently fronted Court for the supply (later dropped) and possession of illicit drugs and has also recently completed a period of full time rehabilitation for his substance abuse issues with crystal methamphetamine and marijuana.

Australian gold medal Olympic diver Matthew Mitcham publicly declared that he was smoking crystal methamphetamine in the lead up to the London games and had a crippling addiction to the drug.

Even Australia’s greatest ever swimmer Ian Thorpe AKA ‘The Thorpedo’ has previously admitted to battling alcohol addiction.

So is this all a coincidence or is there something in the water?

For the full article click here. http://www.theage.com.au/sport/swimming/geoff-huegill-and-wife-allegedly-caught-with-cocaine-at-races-20140428-37d44.html

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Unexpected Porn Star – Webcam Warning

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“Guys have been having video chats that they thought were private or limited to a certain number of select other people,” says Kernaghan and Associates’ Solicitor Aaron Kernaghan, “only to discover their video chat has been recorded and ended up on an overseas-based website where it is being sold as pornography.”

“It’s frightening and embarrassing for them, and genuinely distressing,” he says. “Young guys don’t have any indication that this might happen, no-one is told of the dangers and often people learn about them far too late.

This real problem for young men online, both gay and straight is increasing. Aaron Kernaghan spoke with Samesame.com.au to reveal that there is a way to fix these sorts of problems when they arise.

Full story: here.

 

Online Troubles – Cams for Gay Men

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The popularity of web-cam sites has lead to an increase in instances of gay men seeking help with getting images removed from the internet. Kernaghan and Associates Principal Solicitor Aaron Kernaghan has been called upon to give advice and take action on behalf of clients who have had their web-cam chats posted far-and-wide:

“We’ve had an increasing number of these cases, where guys have been having video chats that they thought were private or limited to a certain number of select other people only to discover their video chat has been recorded and ended up on an overseas-based website where it is being sold as pornography,” said Aaron Kernaghan.

Many of these video chats are happening on apparently ordinary websites available through Australia or the US. The challenges that arise are complex and involved but it is possible to remove the images.

“Just because you have a video chat with someone, or with a group of people, doesn’t necessarily mean you have lost your rights to privacy or ownership over what content you have created, no matter how explicit or sexual the video chat may be. The important thing to remember is that the sooner you get onto tracking down the improper use of your video footage, the easier it is to stop the images spreading throughout the internet,” said Kernaghan.

The increased instance of young gay men using video chats facilities that end up with a sexually explicit recording of them doing the rounds in porn sites is a frightening and often unknown risk –

“Young guys don’t have any indication that this might happen, no-one is told of the dangers and often people learn about them far too late. The number of distressed gay men who seek our assistance is only increasing and so very sad for them. Many of these young gay men are still finding their identities, or maybe haven’t even come out to their families, and yet they find themselves being broadcast all over the planet without their knowledge or permission. It’s frightening and embarrassing for them and genuinely distressing,” said Kernaghan.

Getting videos and images removed from the web isn’t easy. Many young men report having tried to contact the websites only to be baffled by legalese and a response that shuts them down. But a lot of that is nonsense and bluster, says Kernaghan:

“To a certain extent, once your images or video are out there, they’re out there, but there are a number of steps, some quite complex, that we take for our clients that get good result. More often than not result in the images being removed. Most recently we were able to close down an entire website which was built off the back of taking recordings of video chat and putting them on a website where those videos were then sold.”

If you need assistance and help with your online presence, be sure to seek legal advice quickly, time is of the essence. Contact us for a free consultation today: (02)4244-0339.

NSW has a new Attorney General

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Greg Smith (pictured above), is now the former-attorney general.

Our replacement Premier has announced a new cabinet including a new AG in the form of Brad Hazzard (pictured below).

ImageAccording to his Wikipedia entry, Hazzard was educated at Manly Boys’ High School (now Manly Selective Campus), Macquarie University where he gained a Bachelor of Arts (Science) and a Diploma of Education, the University of New South Wales where he graduated Bachelor of Laws, and the University of Sydney where he graduated Master of Laws. He was a partner in a Manly law firm from 1981 to 1996.

Congratulations to the new Attorney, the state’s first law officer.

Oops – Great Military Blunders of History

ImageIn 2002, two dozen British marines on a training exercise stormed a beach they mistakenly thought to be in Gibraltar. As it turned out, they came ashore on a beach resort in La Linea, Spain instead. The marines only realized their mistake after the locals and two policemen informed them they were in the wrong place.


The British later attributed the incident to bad weather and apologized for their error, a gesture which Spanish officials graciously accepted. In a parting shot, the locals wryly pointed out that Gibraltar shouldn’t be hard to miss since it had a 4,260-meter (1,400 ft) tall rock for a landmark.

To be fair to the British, they weren’t the only ones who mistakenly invaded a country. The famously defense-minded country of Switzerland also accidentally invaded its tiny neighbour Liechtenstein – not just once but three times. They even had to compensateLiechtenstein once when Swiss soldiers caused a forest fire.

NSW Premier Resigns

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Barry O’Farrell has resigned as NSW Premier, this morning AEST.

Yesterday at the ICAC, the Premier denied receiving a $3000 bottle of wine from Australian Water Holdings boss Nick Di Girolamo.

It’s now known that the Premier sent Di Girolamo a card thanking him for the gift.

The Premier insisted he did not “wilfully mislead” the watchdog yesterday, but that he accepted the consequences.

Global Study on Homicide 2013

ImageThe UN Office on Drugs and Crime(UNODC) released the results of the Global Study on Homicide 2013 (GSH) [official websites] which detailed the global prevalence of intentional homicides, finding 437,000 homicides in 2012. The UNODC collected [UN News Centre report] a wide breadth of statistical data including identities of perpetrators and victims, murder weapons, and murder rates by nation. The highest global murder rates were found in Africa and the Americas, and the data showed that nearly 750 million people live in the countries with the highest murder rates, meaning that almost half of all murders occur in countries home to only eleven percent of the world’s population.

The study also showed other findings, such as disparities between victim and perpetrator rates based on age and sex, and whether victims were more or less likely to have been killed by unknown person or by an acquaintance. Data showed that female victims were overwhelmingly more likely to be killed by people close to them and many of the murders were the result of domestic violence.

The study also collected extrinsic data, finding that 4 in 10 homicides involve a firearm as the murder weapon, and that the use of alcohol was involved in more than half of all homicides in certain countries. Conviction rates were also tracked, showing an average of 43 percent, but a large disparity across regions, with rates of 24 percent in the Americas, 48 percent in Asia, and 81 percent in Europe.

From Jurist.org – more information and full article here.