Man charged with murder of Israeli exchange student in Melbourne

An unnamed suspect sits in a police car after he was arrested for questioning over the death of Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne. (AAP Image via AP)
Updated 19 January 2019
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Man charged with murder of Israeli exchange student in Melbourne

  • Aiia Maasarwe was killed when walking home after a night out with friends in Melbourne earlier this week
  • The police would not name the suspect but local media identified him as an aspiring songwriter and rapper and a squatter

MELBOURNE: A 20-year-old man was charged on Saturday with the murder of Israeli student Aiia Maasarwe in Melbourne amidst an outrage over violence against women in Australia’s second-largest city.
Maasarwe, 21, an international exchange student, was killed when walking home after a night out with friends in Melbourne earlier this week, with the police arresting the suspect on Friday.
The police would not name the suspect but local media identified him as an aspiring songwriter and rapper and a squatter. He appeared in court on Saturday and did not apply for bail. He has been remanded in custody to re-appear in court on Monday.
Maasarwe’s death recharged outrage over violence against women after 22-year-old Eurydice Dixon was killed in Melbourne while walking home after performing at a comedy show in June.
Thousands of people gathered at vigils for Maasarwe on Friday and they continued to lay flowers at the site of her death. A special tram carrying only flowers late on Friday followed the route of Maasarwe’s final journey.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who visited by the site of the murder with his family, said on Twitter he was to meet with Maasarwe’s father who came to Melbourne.
“I cannot imagine his loss,” Morrison said.


3 ministers may break with British PM over Brexit

Updated 17 min 25 sec ago
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3 ministers may break with British PM over Brexit

  • The ministers have said they will side with opposition parties to stop Britain leaving without a divorce deal
  • Comments seen as a warning to hard-line Brexit faction in Conservative Party

LONDON: Three senior British Cabinet ministers suggested on Saturday they may break with Prime Minister Theresa May and back amendments to delay Brexit unless a deal is agreed to in the next week.

Their comments represent a serious Cabinet split ahead of a key week in Parliament and are seen as a warning to the hard-line Brexit faction in the Conservative Party.

The ministers indicated in a Daily Mail article published on Saturday that they will back plans to delay Brexit if lawmakers vote down May’s plan for a new deal with the EU.

Business Minister Greg Clark, Work and Pensions Minister Amber Rudd, and Justice Minister David Gauke signalled in the newspaper column that they will side with rebels and opposition parties next week to stop Britain leaving without a divorce deal on March 29 if necessary, adding their weight to calls for May to rule out a no-deal departure.

May is struggling against the clock to get a deal with Brussels on Britain’s exit from the world’s largest trading bloc that will pass parliamentary muster. 

She planned to meet Donald Tusk on the sidelines of an EU-League of Arab States summit on Sunday, but EU diplomats are not expecting any imminent breakthrough.

In the column headlined “If we don’t get a deal next week we must delay Brexit,” Clark, Rudd and Gauke wrote that a no-deal exit was a risk to business, security and British territorial unity, and accused some Parliament colleagues of complacency.

“Far from Brexit resulting in a newly independent United Kingdom stepping boldly into the wider world, crashing out on March 29 would see us poorer, less secure and potentially splitting up,” they said, referring to the threat of a new bid for Scottish independence.

“Our economy will be damaged severely both in the short and the long term. Costs will increase, businesses that rely on just-in-time supply chains will be severely disrupted and investment will be discouraged,” they wrote.

The ministers called on members of the European Research Group, formed by Conservative pro-Brexit lawmakers, to back the government’s deal in Parliament or risk seeing Brexit delayed.

Both May’s Conservatives and the main opposition Labour Party are formally committed to delivering Brexit. In recent days Labour has appeared to soften its stance on a second referendum, although May has ruled such an option out.

Lawmakers from both parties, however, are deeply split over how or even whether Britain will leave, and no majority has so far emerged in Parliament for any comprehensive Brexit strategy.

May has promised that if she does not bring a revised deal back by Feb. 27, Parliament will have an opportunity to vote on the next steps. Some lawmakers are expected to use that to try to wrest control of the process from the government.