Morning, morning! Welcome once again to another Friday; the finish line of the week is in sight as we prepare to launch ourselves into the luxurious waters of the weekend and bathe in the lack of responsibilities and having to put on pants.
There are lots of big news items today to get up to speed on so let’s get into it.
Cassius Turvey Will Be Laid to Rest in a Live-Streamed Funeral
Cassius Turvey, the 15-year-old Noongar Yamatji boy who was allegedly murdered on his way home from school last month, will be laid to rest today in a private family funeral.
Vigils and rallies were held across the country at the start of November to honour the life of this young man, with thousands in attendance. As such, his family have opened the funeral to the public online via live stream so that people from all over Australia and the world can pay their respects.
Turvey was allegedly beaten to death as he walked home with friends in the Middle Swan suburb of eastern Perth in what is thought to have been a random attack. 21-year-old Jack Brearly has been charged with his murder.
Cassius’ uncle, Mark Kickett, told a vigil in Perth that it is time First Nations’ voices are heard.
“It is now time for us to look really deep into our own souls, and to have an understanding of what needs to take place if there indeed is going to be healing,” he said.
“It’s time for the voice of Aboriginal, Islander and First Nations people to stand up and be heard, and to be counted.”
Mechelle Turbey said at the vigil that her son was named after boxing legend Muhammad Ali.
“So many people have said so many things about Cassius but my son is my greatest,” she said.
You can stream the service here. The service will start at 10:15am AWST (1:15pm AEDT).
Three Men Have Been Convicted of Shooting Down Flight MH17 in 2014
A Dutch court has found two Russian men and one Ukrainian man guilty of the murder of 298 people who were onboard Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 when it was shot down out of the sky over Eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, and Leonid Kharchenko have all been given life sentences and have been ordered to pay “more than €16m” ($24.7) in compensation to the families of the victims. A third Russian national, Oleg Pulatov, was acquitted due to lack of evidence.
However, the three men were tried in absentia and are currently in hiding in Russia which has said that it will not extradite them. It’s uncertain that they will ever truly face justice.
in 2014, all four of the men were fighters for the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, a pro-separatist group in eastern Ukraine. The court found that a Russian BUK surface-to-air missile was fired at the plane from the area and that these men bear ultimate responsibility for the deaths of everyone on board. The court also found that Russia had ultimate control over the separatist forces in the region at the time.
MH17 took off from Schipol airport, Holland, on July 17, 2014, headed for Kuala Lumpur. A few hours into the flight, as it passed over Ukraine where military fighting was ongoing, a missile exploded just above the cockpit, causing the breakup of the aircraft in mid air.
198 of those on board were Dutch nationals, 43 were Malaysian, 38 were Australian, and 10 were from the UK.
Australian Economist Sean Turnell Returning Home from Prison in Myanmar
Last year, after a military coup in Myanmar, Australian advisor to the legitimate Aung San Suu Kyi government, Sean Turnell, was sentenced to three years in prison by the military junta.
He was charged with violating the national secrets act and has spent the past nearly two years in jail.
Late last night, Turnell was freed by the regime as part of a wider release of foreign prisoners, something that Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has been personally campaigning for.
“He is a remarkable man and he was there doing his job as an economic policy adviser,” Albanese said.
The PM has also paid tribute to his Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, and regional leaders for their cooperation in freeing Turnell. Albanese had been lobbying for his release during the ASEAN and East Asia summits in Cambodia last week.
“Occasionally in this job you have a big moment, and I’ve just spoken to Sean Turnell who has been released from 650 days of unfair, unjust imprisonment in Myanmar and he has now landed and is well in Bangkok,” Albanese said.
Turnell is said to be in “amazingly good spirits,” Albanese reported.
“He was making jokes. He is from my electorate and apologised for not voting at the election. I assured him he wouldn’t be fined.”
Turnell has said that he is profoundly grateful for the campaign for his release. He is undergoing medical examination in Thailand before being flown home to Sydney.