Labor is likely to form a majority government, heavy fighting in eastern Ukraine and Eurovision winners sell the trophy

Hello. It’s Tuesday, May 31, and here’s a roundup of the latest news.

Labor are likely to form a majority government

Labor is likely to form a majority government after the tally shows the party secured the 76 seats it needs.

MP for Macnamara’s seat in Melbourne, Josh Burns, posted on Facebook that he was delighted to be part of a majority Labor government under Anthony Albanese.

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His statement comes after a tight three-way contest in the electorate where he faced fierce competition from Greens candidate Steph Hodgins-May.

As vote counting continues, the seat of Gilmore in New South Wales and the Victorian seat of Deakin are still too close to call.

Russia enters the outskirts of Sievierodonetsk

where Russian forces entered the outskirts of Sievierodonetsk.
Russia Ukraine War

During his visit to the Kharkiv region, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described the situation in the east as “indescribably difficult”. Source: PA / PA

Russian troops entered the outskirts of the Ukrainian city, with reports of incessant shelling leaving Ukrainian forces to defend the ruins there.

Russia has focused its firepower on the last major population center still held by Ukrainian forces in the eastern province of Lugansk, in a bid to achieve one of President Vladimir Putin’s stated goals after three months of war.

EU leaders fail to agree on Russian oil import ban

European leaders made it clear on Monday that they would fail to agree on a Russian oil import ban at a two-day summit in Brussels, prompting swift criticism from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Draft conclusions from their summit showed that the leaders of the 27 EU countries are ready to agree on the principle of a possible oil embargo, but will leave the difficult decisions for later.

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Mr Zelenskyy denounced the EU’s lack of will.
“All the quarrels in Europe must end, the internal conflicts which only encourage Russia to put more and more pressure on you,” Zelenskyy said at the summit via video link.

“It is clear that there should be progress in the sanctions against Russia.”

Penny Wong responds to suspended security deal

responded to a suspended security agreement between China and Pacific island countries, saying it was up to countries in the region to make their own choices.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is on a two-week visit to the Pacific, where he aims to drum up support for a regional security and trade deal.

In Fiji’s capital, Suva, he held an online meeting with foreign ministers from 10 Pacific nations to urge more countries to sign the deal.

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But he and Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama later confirmed that the regional proposal for greater collaboration in policing, commerce and disaster relief had been put on hold.

In a statement, Ms Wong said Australia wanted to help build a strong peaceful family.

Ukrainian Eurovision winners sell their trophy

Ukrainian winners of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest have sold their trophy for over A$1 million to raise money for the war in Ukraine.

The group, Kalush Orchestra, held a Facebook auction for the crystal microphone with the funds to be used to purchase drones for the Ukrainian military.

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They won the competition with their song “Stefania”, a tribute to the group’s leader’s mother.

He explained their reasoning for selling the trophy before the auction.

Investigation launched into plane crash in Nepal

Nepalese authorities have located the bodies of all but one of the 22 people who were on board a plane that crashed in the Himalayan mountains.
Two Germans, four Indians and 16 Nepalese were on board the plane which crashed 15 minutes after taking off from the tourist town of Pokhara, 125 kilometers west of Kathmandu.
A spokesman for the Neap Civil Aviation Authority says “there is very little chance of finding any survivors”.

An investigation is underway into the incident.

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