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Leigh Leigh was a 14-year-old girl from Fern Bay on the east coast of Australia, who was murdered on 3 November 1989. While attending a teenage birthday party at Stockton Beach(location of party pictured in 2014), Leigh was kicked and spat on by a group of boys after she publicly asserted she had been raped. Leigh left the party shortly afterwards. Her naked body was found in nearby sand dunes the following morning, with severe genital damage and a crushed skull. Matthew Webster (18 years old) pleaded guilty to her murder and served 14½ years in prison. A 19-year-old male pleaded guilty to assault; a third male (aged 15) pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor. The murder investigation proved controversial as several people who admitted to various crimes, including assaulting Leigh, were never charged, and Webster's confession did not match the forensic evidence. The extended media coverage of the murder, which has been cited as an example of victim blaming, tended to focus on the lack of parental supervision at the party, drug and alcohol use, and Leigh's sexuality. The murder inspired a theatrical play entitled Blackrock, as well as a feature film of the same name. (Full article...)
In a coup on December 19, 1964, South Vietnam's ruling military junta led by General Nguyễn Khánh(pictured) dissolved the High National Council (HNC) and arrested some of its members. Khánh needed to satisfy the wishes of some younger generals to stay in power, after they had saved him from an earlier coup attempt. They wanted to sideline older officers who had previously been in high leadership positions, hiding their motives with a plan to force all general officers with more than 25 years of service to retire. The HNC, an unelected advisory body created to give a veneer of civilian rule, recommended against this, and was then dissolved. This dismayed the United States, South Vietnam's main sponsor. The ambassador, Maxwell D. Taylor, harshly berated the generals and threatened aid cuts. Khánh embarked on a media offensive, criticizing US policy and what he saw as infringement of Vietnamese sovereignty. He and the other generals began preparations to expel Taylor before changing their minds. Khánh's tactics rallied support for his fragile leadership, at least temporarily. The Americans did not carry through on Taylor's threats to cut off aid, even though the HNC was never restored. (Full article...)