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

Feature image credit: JAMES ROSS/AAPIMAGE

Sharni Hill / @sharninhill

Two dead following shooting at protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin
Two protestors have been killed at the hands of a shooter, during ongoing protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin over the death of Jacob Blake. 

Blake was shot seven times during an altercation with police on 23 August, sparking protests which have been ongoing since. 

Kyle Rittenhouse, 17, crossed state lines to attend the protest on August 25, later telling journalists he felt it was “his job” to protect city buildings. 

In a video circulated online, Rittenhouse was seen running through the protest, holding a semi-automatic weapon, before dropping to the ground and shooting. 

He has been charged with six criminal counts, the most serious being first-degree intentional homicide, for which he would face life in prison. 

Schoolies 2020 cancelled
All official Schoolies events in Queensland have been cancelled in light of Coronavirus safety concerns. 

The annual event can see up to 40,000 school leavers flock to the Gold Coast, to celebrate graduation. 

“This is a mass event, it poses high risk, high risk to people that attend, all of the young people but also the people that they come in contact with and of course their families and their friends,” said Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. 

The official Schoolies website still lists the event as ongoing, stating on a “COVID-19 FAQ” page that “there are currently no restrictions that have been put in place by the government over the dates of your Schoolies holiday”.  

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate lamented that the government should have cancelled the event sooner in order to avoid disappointment. 

“Schoolies is all about sharing it from your heart this time around,” he said. 

Christchurch shooter sentenced to life without parole
Terrorist Brenton Tarrant, who carried out the March 2019 Christchurch mosque shootings, has been sentenced to life without parole. 

The sentencing comes as the court heard nearly 90 victim impact statements earlier this week, leaving many in tears. 

This is the first time a life without parole sentence has been issued in New Zealand, with Justice Cameron Mander saying Tarrant held a “warped and malignant ideology” that was “rooted in religious and ethnic antipathy and intolerance”. 

“You maimed wounded and crippled many others, your victims included the young and the old, men, women and children,” he said. “Your actions were inhumane”.  

It is still undecided if Tarrant will be imprisoned in his home country Australia or remain in Australia. Some argue that the cost to keep him in maximum security prison in Auckland is too great. 

Japanese PM resigned amid health concerns
Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe has resigned due to health concerns. 

Shinzo, who recently passed the milestone of becoming Japan’s longest running Prime Minister, addressed a press conference on 28 August. 

“I have decided that I will step down as prime minister, with the belief that I cannot continue being prime minister if I do not have the confidence that I can carry out the job entrusted to me by the people,” he said. 

Shinzo has ulcerative colitis, a condition which he has struggled with his teens, but which has worsened recently. 

This condition also caused Shinzo to quit his first term as Prime Minister in 2007, and after numerous visits to the hospital recently there has been speculation that he may do so again. 

Shinzo’s successor is yet to be confirmed. 

Melbourne storm leaves 88 suburbs without water
A storm which hit Melbourne on Thursday night, 27 August, has killed three and left 88 suburbs without safe drinking water. 

The casualties include a four year old boy, hit by a falling tree near his home in Blackburn South, and two individuals who died when trees hit their cars in Tecoma and Parkdale. 

Households served by Yarra Valley Water and South East Water were advised to boil water before drinking, over fears of contamination. 

“If you want to drink the water, please boil it first, take it to a rolling boil, and then let it cool, be careful not to scald yourself and that water should be fine,” said South East Water spokesperson Mikala Hehir.

The water contamination problem is said to be resolved by Sunday, 30 August. 

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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