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MH17 plane crash trial starts, who will be held responsible?

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Dutch judges will begin to hear evidence on the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight.

The critical stage of a trial over the downing of Malaysian Airlines MH17 is set to begin.

Families of those who died in the 2014 tragedy have spoken of their heartache as details prepare to be handed down.

MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down by a missile.

Investigators believe the missile was fired from territory held by pro-Russian rebels during fighting with Ukrainian government troops.

All 298 people on board were killed, two-thirds of them Dutch nationals.

Dutch judges overseeing the murder trial of three Russian men and another from Ukraine will summarise evidence at the hearing in a high-security courtroom in Amsterdam.

“The court will open the MH17 criminal trial proper and, through examining and discussing the content of the prosecution file, elucidate the key questions which it has already begun to address,”

the court said in a statement.

Court proceedings officially began in March 2020 with discussions over the admissibility of evidence.

MH17 crash site / Image File

The trial phase:

The trial will start with hearings looking at the evidence and the investigation into the crash.

The defensee and prosecution will be granted time to discuss any conflicting information or issues, lasting until July 9, 2021.

Relatives of the victims will be allowed to address the court in what is understood will be an opportunity to give victim impact statements at some point in September.

A piece of the MH17 wreckage is lifted at the crash site in Donetsk, Ukraine. File photo: Reuters
A piece of the MH17 wreckage is lifted at the crash site in Donetsk, Ukraine. File photo: Reuters

The men on trial:

Three Russian nationals and one Ukrainian citizen are on trial for the downing of the Malaysian Airlines jet.

The tragic day of the downing of MH17:

The Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 jet was en route from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

Investigators revealed the plane was shot down as it flew over a part of eastern Ukraine that is under the control of pro-Russian rebels.

All 298 people on board — including 196 Dutch citizens perished in the crash.

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Global Politics

UK, Australia strike new free trade agreement

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Australia and the United Kingdom have agreed to a new trade deal, a first major deal post-Brexit.

The Australian Prime Minister had a working dinner with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson at Downing Street last night, with a formal announcement expected on Tuesday.

According to the BBC, the meal served up to the pair on Monday evening included Welsh lamb and Scottish smoked salmon, and was washed down with Australian wine.

It is the first trade deal to be negotiated from scratch since the UK left the EU.

The new deal is expected to give UK and Australian food producers and other businesses easier access to each other’s markets.

However, the leaders were initially stuck on several issues, including a plan by the British to add tariffs to Australian farming imports for the next ten years.

Behind the scenes, bureaucrats have been working frantically to reach a deal, and now both leaders are believed to have made concessions.

The new trade deal is expected to give UK and Australian food producers and other businesses easier access to each other’s markets.

According to the National Farmers Union (NFU), Australian farmers are able to produce beef at a lower cost of production, and could undercut farmers in the UK.

Australia’s top 10 export markets

Australia still leads the world when it comes to exporting ironcoal and petroleum gases.

Australia’s biggest export products by value in 2020 were iron, coal, petroleum gases, gold and aluminium. In aggregate, those major exports account for 63.1% of overall exports sales from Australia.

The following export product groups categorize the highest dollar value in Australian global shipments during 2020. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Australia.

  1. Ores, slag, ash: US$91.3 billion (35.9% of total exports)
  2. Mineral fuels including oil: $65.4 billion (25.7%)
  3. Gems, precious metals: $19.6 billion (7.7%)
  4. Meat: $10.4 billion (4.1%)
  5. Inorganic chemicals: $5.2 billion (2%)
  6. Machinery including computers: $4.4 billion (1.7%)
  7. Cereals: $3.8 billion (1.5%)
  8. Pharmaceuticals: $3.4 billion (1.4%)
  9. Electrical machinery, equipment: $3.1 billion (1.2%)
  10. Aluminum: $3.1 billion (1.2%)

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Business

Wall street soars, investors countdown key Fed meeting.

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Investors appear to be buying what the Federal Reserve is selling at the minute, that is they’re shrugging off those pesky inflation concerns.

The Nasdaq and S&P 500 hit fresh record-highs ahead of the Fed meeting this week.

VFS Group’s James Whelan says there’s one key question in all of this.

“Will the Fed care about the market reaction? That’s the playbook for the next six months. Inflation, Fed response, market response to the Fed, and then will the market actually care? We’ve had four years of the Fed caring about everything the market did.”

JAMES WHELAN, VFS GROUP

The four years Whelan’s referring to are the Donald Trump years, where the former President often boasted of how strongly Wall Street performed.

But not everyone trusts the central bank right now, billionaire hedge funder Paul Tudor Jones is cynical.

“He (Tudor) called the stock market crash in ’87. History is on his side for calling big things. He’s saying if he doesn’t see any sort of commentary from the Fed this week, he’s going all-in on every inflationary hedge there is”

DANIEL WEINER, MARKET STRATEGIST

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell. | Jacquelyn Martin/AP Photo

Expectations remain that the central bank will hold tight, and keep pace with their bond purchases.

James King of AFEX says the amount of stimulus that’s entered the market over the last 18 months is extraordinary.

“The last 18 months or so there’s been a meteoric rise in the Fed’s balance sheet. From four trillion dollars to almost eight trillion dollars in an 18 month period”

Federal Reserve Bank

The next update is due Wednesday US time, and all investors will be watching.

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Global Politics

Australian future unclear for detained family of asylum seekers

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A family of Tamil asylum seekers detained on Christmas Island since 2019 will be reunited in Australia.

The Murugappan family have been separated as youngest daughter Tharnicaa undergoes treatment in a Perth hospital, but their long-term future in Australia remains unclear.

“Today’s decision releases the family from held detention and facilitates ongoing treatment, while they pursue ongoing litigation before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Federal Court and High Court.”

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement.

“Importantly, today’s decision does not create a pathway to a visa.”

WA Health had requested they be reunited while she receives treatment.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed the move but it remains unknown if they will be granted new visas.

The family were removed from their home in Biloela in 2018 when their visas expired.

The family has been separated for more than a week after Tharnicaa and her mother were flown from Christmas Island to Perth.

Three-year-old Tharnicaa is believed to have developed a blood infection while in detention on Christmas Island.

“This is not ok, it needs to end”

Last week Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young told Ticker News “This is just not ok and it needs to end”

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