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

Image credit: Joel Carrett/AAP

Isabella Podwinski / @izzy_podwinski

US Supreme Court Justice Ruther Bader Ginsburg dies aged 87
Long-serving Supreme Court Justice and champion of gender equality, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, has died due to complications of metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Ginsburg was the second female elected to the coveted role on the Supreme Court and the second-longest serving justice behind Clarence Thomas.

Many have expressed their condolences on social media, citing her death as an “immense loss” and regarding her as “a woman way ahead of her time”.

Ginsburg’s death has already called into question when and who will fill the vacant seat. 

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, along with political figures Hilary Clinton and Barack Obama have led calls to delay the process until after the election. 

In a dictated statement to her granddaughter prior to her death, Ginsburg expressed her desire to remain on the court until after November 3. 

“My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed,” she said.

Indigenous artist Meyne Wyatt named 2020 recipient of the Archibald Prize

The self-portrait of actor and Wongutha-Yamatji man, Meyne Wyatt, was been awarded a 2020 Archibald Prize, making him the first Indigenous artist to win in its 99-year history.

Out of 55 finalist works, Wyatt’s painting claimed the top spot, making it the second time in 29 years a self-portrait has won the prestigious packing room prize.

“I have been known to say that artists who enter a self-portrait have no hope of winning … but in this case I made an exception to my rule,” he said.

The Sydney-based writer, actor and artist credited his mother Susan Wyatt, an Archibald finalist in 2003, as a source of encouragement.

“Most of all I want to thank my mum, who encouraged me to enter the Archibald prize in the first place and gave me the courage to be so bold”.

Barbados to cut British ties and become a republic
The Caribbean nation of Barbados wants to remove Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state and become a republic. 

In a speech delivered on behalf of the country’s Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, the Governor-General of Barbados, Sandra Mason, said it was time for Barbados to leave their “colonial past behind”.

“Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state. This is the ultimate statement of confidence in who we are and what we are capable of achieving,” she said.

The former British colony, which gained independence in 1966, said it would like to take steps towards becoming a fully sovereign nation by next year.

Buckingham palace and Britain’s Foreign Office have both expressed the move is for the people of Barbados to decide.

Yoshihide Suga announced as Japan’s new Prime Minister
Yoshihide Suga has been elected as the new Prime Minister of Japan, succeeding Shinzo Abe’s after his resignation last month.

The former chief cabinet secretary,  Mr Suga, won 314 out of 462 votes in the Diet, Japan’s lower house.

Mr Suga is expected to follow the policies of his predecessor and form a “continuity cabinet”, keeping half of the previous government’s lineup. 

The ally of the former Premier has promised to maintain the signature “Abenomics” economic approach in Japan’s long road to Covid-19 recovery. 

The change in leadership comes after Mr Abe’s surprise resignation in August, whose departure from the role was due to ill health. 

Covid cases climb in Europe as some cities head for lockdown
850,000 Spaniards are headed for lockdown as cities across Europe swell with the second wave of Covid-19 infections. 

Countries such as Denmark and Greece are likely to follow Spain with similar restrictions in a bid to curb increasing numbers. 

Some parts of the UK including the North-West, Midlands and West Yorkshire imposed new restrictions from last Tuesday. 

British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson said the second wave of infections was inevitable as the country comes out of summer holidays.

“We are now seeing a second wave coming in. We’ve seen it in France, in Spain… It is absolutely, I’m afraid, inevitable, that we will see it in this country,” he said.

But Mr Johnson reiterated while second national lockdown would be avoided at all costs, tightening social distancing rules may be necessary. 

“[But] clearly, when you look at what is happening, you’ve got to wonder whether we need to go further”. 

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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