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

By Sharnin Hill |@sharninhill

1. The death of Bob Hawke

Australia’s 23rd Prime Minister Bob Hawke passed away on the evening of Wednesday, May 15, he was 89.

Mr Hawke, who was first elected Labor leader in 1983, is being remembered for the many social and economic reforms he made to Australia, including the reinstatement of Medicare.

Labor leader Bill Shorten has remembered Mr Hawke as “Labor’s greatest son,” while Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Mr Hawke was “a great Australian”.

Others paying tribute on social media include former Greens leader Bob Brown, Bill Clinton and Julia Gillard.

2. Rwandan murderers brought to Australia

Two men involved in the 1999 murder of tourists in Rwanda have been brought to Australia as part of a supposed refugee swap with the United States.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the two men, Leonidas Bimenyimana and Gregoire Nyaminani, have been resettled into the Australian community.

“They did not represent a risk to security and they were cleared,” Mr Morrison said.

It is unclear yet whether this ‘refugee swap,’ is part of an agreement for the US to take on refugees from Manus Island.

3. Sweden to reopen sexual assault allegations against Julian Assange

Swedish authorities have reopened the sexual assault charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The case, which initially opened in 2010, is being reinvestigated following Mr Assange’s arrest in London.

Mr Assange is currently serving 50 weeks in jail for breaching bail.

The case will centre on an allegation made by the victim, who was referred to in court documents as ‘Miss W’, that she had consensual sex with Mr Assange which became non-consensual when he refused to wear a condom.

Sweden’s deputy director of public prosecutions, Eva-Marie Perrson said “I take the view that there exists the possibility to take the case further”.

Mr Assange’s lawyer Per Samuelsson said that bringing the investigation back in light of recent events is not proportionate to other charges Assange is facing and that it is “highly unreasonable”.

4. Serial killer Ivan Milat diagnosed with terminal cancer

Notorious backpack killer Ivan Milat has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and moved out of solitary confinement.

Milat, who has been serving seven life sentences in Goulburn Supermax Jail since 1996, was taken to Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney on Monday May 13.

Reportedly Milat had been showing signs of geriatric anorexia, as well as dementia, and had become ‘dangerously thin’, prior to his arrival at the hospital.

At this time Milat remains chained to his hospital bed, and is being guarded 24/7.

Milat will likely not be moved back to Goulburn Supermax, following his recent diagnosis.

5. Smiths frontman Morrissey wears alt-right party badge while performing on Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Tonight Show’

While performing on Fallon on May 13, Smiths frontman Morrissey was seen wearing the badge of alt-right group ‘For Britain’.

The For Britain Movement was founded by Islamophobic activist Anne Marie Waters, who has been recorded advocating for reduction in Muslim birth rates and stopping Muslim immigration.

In a 2018 interview in support of For Britain, Morrissey, who has previously been criticised over anti-semitic remarks, said “I don’t think the word “racist” has any meaning anymore”.

The For Britain website has published a blog post thanking Morrissey, which read “we want to thank him for his courage in defying the lies and smears of the so called journalist and media”.

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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