Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been sentenced to 50 weeks’ jail in Britain for absconding while on bail. Assange, who claimed asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012, was arrested and charged by British and US authorities last month after Ecuador withdrew its offer of asylum. In handing down a near-maximum sentence, judge Deborah Taylor said Assange used “your privileged position to flout the law and advertise internationally your disdain for the law of this country”. Assange will appear in court via video link today to contest his extradition to the US, where he is charged with conspiring to gain access to classified material.
Lawyers representing the family of an Aboriginal woman who died in police custody have asked the coroner investigating her death to take systemic racism into consideration. Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day, 55, died in a holding cell at Castlemaine police station in 2017 after being arrested for public drunkenness. In a submission to Victorian deputy state coroner Caitlin English, the lawyer representing Day’s family asserted that officers’ unconscious perception of Day as an Aboriginal woman may have influenced their treatment of her. Day’s daughter Apryl Watson told NITV “there’s not been any changes that have been made to make sure that there is an end to Aboriginal deaths in custody or the other disadvantages that we face”.
A group of independent federal MPs and candidates has pledged to oppose the approval of the Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland in the event of a hung parliament. Independent MPs Kerryn Phelps, Andrew Wilkie and Julia Banks, as well as candidates Rob Oakeshott, Helen Haines, Oliver Yates and Zali Steggall, signed an Australian Conservation Foundation pledge to oppose the Adani mine, push for Australia to exceed its Paris carbon reduction targets, oppose public funding for fossil fuel projects and restore funding to the Climate Change Authority. Haines, who is seeking to win the rural Victorian seat of Indi won by independent Cathy McGowan in 2013, told Nine newspapers she would demand a “cogent policy around climate” from any party seeking her support, and that “the Labor Party have not gone far enough”.
And in Japan, a new emperor has taken the Chrysanthemum Throne for the first time in 30 years, ushering in a new imperial era. Naruhito, the new emperor, formally assumed the title at midnight on Wednesday, a day after the abdication of his father Akihito, who has ruled since 1989. Akihito’s abdication, the first in more than 200 years, marked the end of the Heisei imperial era, while Naruhito’s ascension beginning the Reiwa era. The world’s oldest continuing hereditary monarchy, Japan’s imperial line claims to stretch back over 2600 years, with 126 monarchs taking the throne since 660 BC, according to legend.