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Hillsong founder Brian Houston pleads not guilty to concealing child sexual assault

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The investigation into the covering up of information within Hillsong has been ongoing since 2019

The Hillsong founder pleaded not guilty to concealing information about child sexual abuse in a Sydney court today.

Brian Houston, 67, was charged with concealing a serious indictable offence of another person with his lawyer being served with a court attendance notice over the allegations in August.

Court documents stated that Mr Houston “had information that might be of material assistance in securing the prosecution of Frank Houston” and “without reasonable excuse, failed to bring that information to the attention of the NSW Police Force”.

The investigation began in 2019 to unveil whether Mr Houston knew about his late father’s involvement in sexually abusing a 7-year-old boy in 1969 and 1970.

Frank Houston confessed to the child sex offence before he died in 2004.

In a statement, Brian Houston denied knowing about his father’s connivance.

“I vehemently profess my innocence and will defend these charges, and I welcome the opportunity to set the record straight,” he said.

The case was adjourned until November 23.

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Amazon turns to deforestation in Africa

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Amazon’s founder and CEO is no stranger to making headlines, and his latest venture is sure to turn some heads.

Bezos is looking to help reverse deforestation on 100 million acres of land in Africa by 2030.

The billionaire’s philanthropic organisation, the Bezos Earth Fund, is championing the cause and working with African Union countries to make it happen.

If successful, it would be a major win for the environment and help preserve some of Africa’s most biodiverse and threatened ecosystems.

So why is Bezos focusing on Africa?

Well, the continent is home to some of the world’s most endangered species and its ecosystems are under immense pressure from human activity.

His organisation’s efforts could help to protect these animals and their habitats, while also providing a much-needed boost to the local economy.

It comes as the Earth Fund’s CEO says richer countries are going to have to step up the support for their struggling counterparts…

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Four killed in Himalayas avalanche

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At least four people have been killed and dozens more are missing after an avalanche hit a group of mountaineers high in the Indian Himalayas.

The avalanche victims were part of a group of 34 trainees and seven instructors who were practicing navigation at the time.

The students were from different parts of India, and had come to the Himalayas for a mountaineering course.

So far, eight people have been rescued, while the rest are trapped in a crevasse.

Search efforts have been paused for the night due to intense rain and snowfall.

Local media reports say the number of casualties may rise significantly as further details emerge.

It comes just one week after American professional skier, Hilaree Nelson was also found in the Nepali Himalayas.

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Trump calls on Supreme Court to end raid probe

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Former President Donald Trump filed an emergency appeal at the Supreme Court over the FBI raid on his Mar-A-Lago estate.

Trump wants the court to temporarily block the Justice Department from reviewing classified documents seized at his Florida estate in early August.

The appeal came days after a three-judge panel of the Atlanta-based U.S. Court of Appeals said investigators could retain the classified documents and review them as part of a criminal investigation.

Despite nominating three associate justices during his time in the White House – Trump’s record at the Supreme Court hasn’t been too successful.

The high court repeatedly refused pro-Trump efforts to challenge the results of the 2020 election.

The litigation stems from an Aug. 8 FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, which came as part of a federal investigation into allegations he took classified documents from the White House.

Because the case is filed on the Supreme Court’s emergency docket, the justices could resolve the dispute relatively quickly – potentially within a matter of days.

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