A 20-year-old man has been arrested for the killing of an Israeli university student who was walking home after a night out with friends in Melbourne, police said yesterday.
Homicide detectives took the man into custody as part of an investigation into the killing of 21-year-old Aiia Maasarwe, whose body was found by passersby near La Trobe University early on Wednesday, Victoria Police said in a statement.
No other details about the man were released.
The arrest came hours before a vigil for Maasarwe, which thousands of people were expected to attend.
Maasarwe was attacked as she returned to the university’s campus in Melbourne’s northeast, where she had been on a study abroad program, after watching a comedy show.
Police described her as an Israeli national.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison offered Maasarwe’s family his heartfelt condolences.
“We must remain vigilant ... I’m so sickened by the attack and frankly disturbed by it, as I’m sure Australians are all around the country,” Morrison told reporters in Fiji’s capital, Suva, where he was winding up a Pacific tour.
He said that his center-right coalition government would announce another “action plan” to stem violence against women ahead of an election expected by May, on top of A$350 million (US$251.6 million) that has already been committed.
Maasarwe’s father is in Melbourne, but it was not clear if he would attend the vigil.
People had already begun laying flowers at an impromptu shrine that sprang up in a park near a shopping center where her body was found.
Maasarwe grew up in Baqa al-Gharbiyye, a mostly Arab city in the Haifa District of Israel, before moving to China to study at Shanghai University.
A family member told Australian media that Maasarwe had been talking on the telephone with her sister in Israel as she walked home, a habit she formed so that she felt safer.
She was the second woman killed in similar circumstances in Melbourne in seven months.
Her death has recharged outrage over violence against women after 22-year-old Eurydice Dixon was killed while walking home after performing at a comedy show in June last year.
The deaths have fueled a growing sense of frustration, particularly from women who say they are already vigilant and that men have to take responsibility for their own behavior, as well as challenging the views and actions of other men.
“Nothing will change until we change, too. Until we stop blaming ‘bad men’ — while ignoring the sexist attitudes in our society that created them,” Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews said.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big