Sunday 19 May 2019
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Australian former PM Bob Hawke dead: wife

Australia s longest-serving Labor prime minister Bob Hawke died Thursday aged 89, his wife announced. Today we lost Bob Hawke, a great Australian -- many would say the greatest Australian of the post-war era, his second wife Blanche d Alpuget said in a statement. He died peacefully at home. The son of a preacher, Hawke led his country during the 1980s, a period during which he seduced the nation with his everyman appeal while beginning deregulation of the economy, including floating the dollar. From negotiating with Frank Sinatra to ensure the crooner s 1974 Sydney concerts went ahead to shedding tears over bloodshed in Beijing s Tiananmen Square, Hawke was a huge presence on Australia s political landscape. Never voted out by the public, which forgave him his faults, he won four elections on the run beginning in 1983, and only left office following a party room coup. To many he was a quintessential Australian larrikin -- a beloved rogue. His death comes days before Australians

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