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

Zahrah Ahmad / @ZahrahAhmadRMIT

Live-action remake of Mulan met with international protest

Disney’s live-action remake film, Mulan, was released this week on Disney+ after distribution halted due to COVID-19. 

But Hong Kong pro-democracy supporters are calling for people to boycott the film after lead actress, Liu Yifei, tweeted her support for the Hong Kong police.

Pro-democracy protests began in Hong Kong when a national security law passed in March this year, allowed the extradition of criminal suspects to China.

The film also faced backlash for crediting areas of the Chinese Xinjiang region where the film was located, known for their link to Uighur abuse and forced slavery.

Disney already faced controversy from fans of the 1998 animation, after the choice was made to remove the musical element and a number of main characters which made the original film popular.

 Novak Djokovic has been disqualified from the US Open after ball hits lineswoman

World no. 1 men’s tennis player, Novak Djokovic, was disqualified from the US Open only halfway through the tournament.

Djokovic was disqualified after an angry swipe of the ball between sets hit a lineswoman’s neck.

While the lineswoman wasn’t seriously injured, tennis officials deemed the contact as “ball abuse” and “unsportsmanlike conduct” in line with the Grand Slam rule book.

Djokovic’s opponent, Spanish player Pablo Carreño Busta, automatically progressed to the next round.

“I’m extremely sorry to have caused her such stress. So unintended. So wrong”, Djokovic wrote on Instagram a few hours later.

While Djokovic has been criticised for his actions, the lineswoman has been targeted online with abuse and death threats.   

Match footage shows the lineswoman falling to the ground shortly after the ball makes contact with her neck. 

Oxford-AstraZeneca Vaccine trial put on hold after volunteer contracts illness

The race to find a vaccine for COVID-19 has been put on hold after a volunteer fell ill during trials. 

While the illness has been described as “neurological”, the symptoms may not be related to the vaccine.

The volunteer is “recovering quickly” said Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt after making contact with drug firm AstraZeneca.

Associate Professor in Medicine at UNSW Dr Darren Saunders, said it was not unusual to suspend trials. 

“It’s a hold/pause, not the end. An adverse event could even be an unfortunate coincidence”. 

The trial involves thousands of volunteers across the world, with 17,000 participants in the UK.

The Oscars to include new diversity guidelines for Best Picture award

The Oscars has revised the criteria for Best Picture, making it compulsory for nominees to employ underrepresented ethnicities or identity groups on and off-screen.

The new standard, coming into effect in 2024, encourages the inclusion of underrepresented groups after years of complaints directed at Hollywood’s lack of diversity.

“We believe these inclusion standards will be a catalyst for long-lasting, essential change in our industry,” said Academy President David Rubin and chief executive Dawn Hudson in a joint statement.

The change comes after Parasite won Best Picture earlier this year, becoming the first non-English-language film to win the award.

But the new changes haven’t been well-received by everyone, including actress and Oscars member, Kirstie Alley.

Ms Alley took to Twitter, stating the new requirements are “dictatorial” and “anti-artist”.

 Fire at Greece refugee camp forces thousands to flee

A fire in Greece’s largest migrant camp has left thousands of refugees and asylum seekers homeless and many displaced.

Stand By Me Lesvos, a refugee support group has expressed concern for the refugees on Twitter, after reports allege refugees were attacked by locals and not given entry into nearby villages.

Only a week ago, 35 asylum seekers tested positive for COVID-19 in the overcrowded facility.

The camp holds 13,000 migrants despite only having facilities for 3,000.

Support groups have criticised the camp in the past for its poor sanitation facilities, and the inability for migrants to social distance or isolate.

While it isn’t clear how they started, it isn’t the first time the camp has experienced a fire.

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