What’s News? Catalyst News picks the top 5 stories that made headlines this week

By Phoebe Humphrey |@PhoebeHumphrey_

Photo credits: Henry Nicholls/Reuters, Stephen Govel Photography, Herald Sun, Roger Sedres/AP, Peter Ristevski

1. Wikileaks’ Julian Assange sentenced to 50 weeks prison

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to a 50 week jail term for violating his bail conditions when he fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012.

Assange was granted asylum by the Ecuadorian government after the UK Supreme Court wanted Assange to be deported to Sweden over a sexual assault case which has since been dropped.

Assange’s lawyer Mark Summers told the courtroom that his client stayed in the embassy because of his “overwhelming fear” of being extradited to the United States.

Judge Michael Snow said Assange was a “narcissist” and his claim that he had not been given a fair trial was “laughable”.

2. US police officer found guilty over the shooting of Australian Justine Damond Ruszczyk

Former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor, 33,  has been found guilty of the third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter of Justine Damond Ruszczyk.

Ms Damond Ruszczyk had called 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home when she was shot.

When the police arrived, Noor testified a loud bang on his squad car triggered him to shoot Ms Damond Ruszczyk when he saw a woman approaching the vehicle.

Prosecutors said Noor had “no basis” to believe she had a weapon, criticizing his decision to shoot.

Noor faces a sentence between 10 to 15 years, though may spend less time in prison.

3. Multiple candidates out of the running

Multiple federal candidates have become embroiled in controversy following a series of homophobic attacks, anti-muslim and sexist social media posts.

Liberal candidate for Paterson Sachin Joshi posted on his LinkedIn last October that women are to blame for the gender pay gap because they aren’t interested in “money matters”.

On Thursday, Mr Joshi responded to the comments on Facebook and said he had made it his profession as a politician to help women bridge the gender pay gap.

This follows Liberal Peter Killin’s resignation on Wednesday over homophobic comments that the “homosexual lifestyle” carries “appalling health risks”.

Similarly, Liberal candidate for Isaacs Jeremy Hearn was dumped Thursday morning after a series of anti-Muslim comments were unearthed, stating Muslims were plotting “a rebellion against the government”.

4. Olympic champion Caster Semenya loses testosterone rule appeal

South African runner Caster Semenya has lost her appeal against new rules designed to decrease naturally high testosterone levels in female runners.

The ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport means that Semenya will now have to suppress her testosterone levels through medication if she wants to compete in future international 400m to a mile events.

The policy, beginning on May 8, means all athletes with differences in sexual development (DSDs) will have to reduce their testosterone levels to below five nmol/L for at least six months before competing.

Semenya has long argued that the International Association of Athletics Federations has “targeted her specifically” and said she would not give up her fight for DSDs.

5. Bega wins peanut butter battle

Australian brand Bega won the right to trademark their yellow peanut butter jars, winning against American food company Kraft.

The federal court ruled that Bega will now have exclusive rights to use the signature yellow lid, as well as the accompanying red and blue peanut labels associated with the spread.

Kraft’s Australian counterpart, Kraft Foods Limited, was renamed Mondelez Australia in 2013 and allowed to use the yellow packaging on the spread jar.

In 2017, Mondelez sold its peanut butter assets to Bega, who began producing the spread at Kraft’s former factory in Port Melbourne.

In an 18 month old battle, Bega has proven they’re a tough nut to crack, but the question remains; smooth or crunchy?

Catalyst has been the student publication of RMIT University since 1944. We may be older than your parents but we’re still going strong!

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