Amanda Knox has broken down in tears on her first return to Italy since her acquittal in the murder of her flatmate Meredith Kercher.
Ms Knox, 31, recalled her four years in jail after she was arrested in 2007 for the murder of British exchange student Ms Kercher in the house they rented in Perugia.
She became the focus of a sensational murder case, where she was depicted as an angel-faced man-eater dubbed Foxy Knoxy, while many in her native America defended her as an innocent victim caught in a judicial nightmare abroad.
Ms Kercher, a student from Surrey, was found semi-naked on 1 November 2007 in a pool of blood, her throat cut.
Ms Knox, who was initially convicted of the murder before being cleared on appeal, said she felt fearful upon her return to Italy.
“I’m afraid of being harassed, mocked, framed, I’m afraid that new accusations will be levied against me just because I’m here giving my version of events,” she told a criminal justice conference in Modena, northern Italy.
In an emotional speech in which she cried at one point, and at several others struggled to fight back tears, she launched a stinging attack on the media, which she said had failed to probe the authorities over an arrest she said was based on no evidence.
“It was impossible for me to have a fair trial,” she claimed, recalling how in the eyes of many she had become “the dirty, psychopathic, man-eating Foxy Knoxy”.
“They convicted that doppelganger. That person was sentenced to 26 years in jail,” she said.
“The verdict fell upon me like a crushing weight,” she added.
“I could only suffer in silence from my prison cell”.
Ms Knox said the media invented a “false and baseless story, which fuelled people’s fantasies”.
Prior to her arrival in Italy, she published an essay called Your Content, My Life, discussing her decision to accept an invitation from the Italy Innocence Project.
In it, she said that “while on trial for a murder I didn’t commit, my prosecutor painted me as a sex-crazed femme fatale”.
She added that the media “profited for years by sensationalising an already sensational and utterly unjustified story”.
It was “on us to stop making and stop consuming such irresponsible media”, she wrote.
Ms Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were convicted of the 2007 murder of 21-year-old Ms Kercher in 2009.
The Briton was stabbed 47 times and her throat slashed at the flat she shared with Ms Knox.
The American spent four years in prison, before being cleared on appeal in 2011.
Italian courts overturned the acquittal in 2014, but Italy’s highest court overturned the conviction definitively in 2015.
Judges ruled there had not been enough evidence to prove their wrongdoing beyond reasonable doubt, and said there were no “biological traces” firmly connecting them to the murder.
An immigrant from the Ivory Coast, Rudy Guede, is serving a 16-year jail sentence for the murder of Ms Kercher.
Prosecutors have maintained that the wounds sustained by Ms Kercher were inflicted by more than one person.
A conviction against Ms Knox for falsely accusing a bar owner in the case has been upheld.
World’s oldest asteroid strike in Western Australia ‘could have ended Ice Age’ | World News
The world’s oldest asteroid crater has been discovered in Western Australia, which could have ended an Ice Age, according to scientists.
A team from Curtin University, in WA, said the Yarrabubba strike, in the Outback, happened 2.2 billion years ago and is around half as old as the Earth.
Experts from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences say they analysed the minerals – zircon and monazite at the base of the eroded hole that were “shock recrystallised” by the impact, to calculate exactly when it happened, in a similar way tree rings can provide clues about their past.
They believe the strike released huge volumes of water vapour into the atmosphere, which may have lifted the planet out of a deep freeze.
Professor Chris Kirkland said Yarrabubba – which sits between Sandstone and Meekatharra – was known to be an impact structure for many years, but it was unclear exactly how old it was.
He continued: “Now we know the Yarrabubba crater was made right at the end of what’s commonly referred to as the early Snowball Earth – a time when the atmosphere and oceans were evolving and becoming more oxygenated, and when rocks deposited on many continents recorded glacial conditions.
Another scientist involved in the research, Associate Professor Nicholas Timms, added: “The age of the Yarrabubba impact matches the demise of a series of ancient glaciations.
“After the impact, glacial deposits are absent in the rock record for 400 million years.
“This twist of fate suggests the large meteorite impact may have influenced global climate. And this finding raises the question whether this impact may have tipped the scales enough to end glacial conditions”.
The team say their study could have major implications for future crater discoveries.
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Senior research fellow Dr Aaron Cavosie, said: “This one sat in plain sight for nearly two decades before its significance was realised.”
He added that the discovery “raises the question of whether all older impact craters have been eroded or if they are still out there waiting to be found”.
The study has been published in the leading journal Nature Communications.
Trump impeachment: Republicans block Democrat bids for new evidence and witnesses | US News
Republican senators have blocked a move by Democrats to compel Donald Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton to appear as a witness in the impeachment trial.
In an early sign of partisanship, the Republican-controlled Senate rejected several Democrat bids for more witnesses to expose the US president’s alleged abuse of power and the covering-up of his actions.
Republicans also turned back Democratic amendments to subpoena documents from the White House, State Department, Defence Department and budget office, as the first day of proceedings continued into the early hours of Wednesday.
They voted against compelling Mr Bolton and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney – both with front-row seats to the president’s actions – to give evidence at the historic trial.
By the same 53-47 party-line, the Republicans banded together to adopt their rules governing the proceedings, including delaying a debate over whether to call witnesses until the middle of the trial.
Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer accused Republican senators of “enabling a cover-up”.
The president, who is 4,000 miles away from Washington in Davos, Switzerland, is charged with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after investigations by the lower House of Representatives, which the Democrats control.
Mr Trump is accused of freezing Congress-approved aid to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden, a political rival, and impeding the inquiry into the matter.
Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, leading the prosecution, said America’s founders had added the remedy of impeachment in the US constitution with “precisely this type of conduct in mind – conduct that abuses the power of office for a personal benefit, that undermines our national security, and that invites foreign interference in the democratic process of an election”.
But White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, the president’s lead lawyer, said the charges against Mr Trump were “ridiculous”, insisting the president had done “absolutely nothing wrong”.
Mr Bolton, a foreign policy hawk, was sacked by Mr Trump in September with the pair having significant disagreements on Iran, Afghanistan and other global challenges.
Earlier this year, he issued a statement on Mr Trump’s impeachment, saying that if he was compelled to, he would give evidence at the trial.
“If the Senate issues a subpoena for my testimony, I am prepared to testify,” he wrote.
The final impeachment vote in the Senate, which will decide whether Mr Trump is guilty, is expected to be along party lines and it is therefore unlikely the president will be removed from office.
Flamur Beqiri murder: Man arrested in Denmark over shooting of suspected London gangster | UK News
A man has been arrested in Denmark over the Christmas Eve murder of a suspected gangster in front of his wife and child in south London.
The 22-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder on Monday night under a European Arrest Warrant at Copenhagen Airport at the request of Scotland Yard after arriving on a flight from Thailand.
The suspect remains in custody in Denmark pending extradition proceedings back to the UK.
He is accused of shooting Swedish national Flamur Beqiri, who police believe may have had criminal links in Sweden and was killed in a targeted attack.
The 36-year-old was shot multiple times by a lone suspect on his doorstep as he returned to his Battersea home with his family at around 9pm on 24 December.
The killer fled the scene on foot.
A neighbour heard the gun shots and the screams of Mr Beqiri’s wife and came out and saw the Swede lying in front of his doorway in a pool of blood.
According to reports, Mr Beqiri is the brother of former Real Housewives Of Cheshire star Misse Beqiri.
He met his wife at his sister’s wedding, and reportedly ran a record company in London.
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