Weekly News Roundup

May 17, 2019

Image: ABC News

Friday May 17

Bob Hawke, Australia’s 23rd Prime Minister has died at the age of 89.

Mr Hawke led the country and Labour Party from 1983 to 1991, making him the longest-serving Labour PM. His contribution to public life helped shape modern Australia.

Mr Hawke’s achievements as Prime minister included modernising the economy and integrating it into the global community, establishing Medicare and advocating environmental issues.

He won four federal elections, making him Labor’s longest-serving Prime Minister and Australia’s third-longest-serving Prime Minister behind Robert Menzies and John Howard.

Ms d’Alpuget released a statement saying “he died peacefully at home” and that his children, stepson Louis and his grandchildren would hold a private funeral ahead of a memorial service in Sydney in the coming weeks.

“Bob was dearly loved by his family, and so many friends and colleagues,” the statement read.

“We will miss him.”

Bill Shorten tweeted that Mr Hawke was the Labour movement’s “greatest son”.

“Australians everywhere remember and honour a man who gave so much to the country and people he cared for so deeply,” he said.

“May he rest in peace.”

Mr Hawke’s legacy is closely tied to that of his famous political rival Paul Keating, who took over as Prime Minister and Labor leader after a 1991 leadership spill.

Mr Keating stated that the pair enjoyed a “great partnership” and “the country is much the poorer for Bob Hawke’s passing”.

“Bob, of course, was hoping for a Labor victory this weekend. His friends too, were hoping he would see this,” Mr Keating wrote.


The US state of Alabama has approved legislation to ban abortions in almost all cases with jail terms of up to 99 years for anyone performing the procedure.

Doctors who perform abortions could serve more prison time than a woman’s rapist.

If the Republican governor signs the measure, the state will have the strictest abortion laws in the country.

The new abortion law would mean, abortions would only be permitted when the mother’s life is at serious risk and abortions in instances of rape and incest would be banned.

Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Georgia also recently approved bans on abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as the sixth week of pregnancy.

If the Alabama bill becomes law, it would take effect in six months.

Abortion laws were decided by each state, until in 1973 the US Supreme Court legalised abortion across the country by the Roe vs Wade case.

Anti-abortion politicians in Alabama and other conservative states hope to overturn the Roe vs Wade precedent, putting an end to the constitutional right to abortion.

Outside the Alabama Statehouse, 50 protesters rallied and chanted, “Whose choice? Our choice.”

Several women dressed as characters from The Handmaid’s Tale, which depicts a dystopian future where fertile women are forced to breed.

“Today is a dark day for women in Alabama and across this country..Alabama politicians will forever live in infamy for this vote and we will make sure that every woman knows who to hold accountable,” stated Staci Fox of Planned Parenthood Southeast.

Democrats criticised the ban as a mixture of political grandstanding, an attempt to control women and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

“The state of Alabama ought to be ashamed of herself. You ought to be ashamed. Go look in the mirror,” Senator Bobby Singleton said.

“Women in this state didn’t deserve this. This is all about political grandstanding.”

The call sparked debate online with both sides weighing in, sending the hashtag #sexstrike trending on social media.


Brisbane singer-songwriter Kate Miller-Heidke has made it through to Sunday’s grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest…..and she is high among the favourites to win.

Miller-Heidke made it through the semi final along with nine countries out of the other 16 that were also vying for a spot.

These included performers from Greece, Belarus, Serbia, Cyprus, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Iceland, San Marino and Slovenia.

Finland, Montenegro, Poland, Hungary, Belgium, Georgia and Portugal all missed out on nabbing a spot at the headline show.

Half of the votes were cast by a professional jury and the other half remotely by viewers.

Miller-Heidke, who performed atop a moving pole in a billowing white gown, sang Zero Gravity, a ballad about emerging from depression, for the crowds in Israel.

The grand final will be on SBS live from 5:00am Sunday, May 19, with a replay at 8:30pm.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.