Rob Idol

About Rob Idol

Rob is an aspiring writer who balances his time between a “real” job and his passion for politics, social justice and all things creative. He has an MBA, an unhealthy obsession with current events, an even unhealthier obsession with pop culture and has been known to offer favourable food reviews in exchange for free meals.

Current Affairs Wrap: Russia, Vanstone and the humble Huntsman under fire

Rob Idol’s Current Affairs Wrap tackles the multi-faceted downing of a Russian aircraft, Vanstone’s take on Bindi Irwin’s DWTS victory and an epic battle between man and arachnid.


Hello all and welcome to this week’s TBS Current Affairs Wrap. The Syrian conflict got a little more complicated, there was another major gun-related incident in the US, Amanda Vanstone put her big foot in her even bigger mouth and consumerism in the US reached fever pitch.


Another week and another complication to the Syrian crisis with Turkey shooting down a Russian warplane around the Syrian border. Russia claims that the incident occurred whilst the Russian plane was in Syrian airspace; while Turkey maintains that not only did the incident occur within Turkish airspace, but also the Russian plane was warned ten times prior to the bitter conclusion.

There are some who claim that this type of incident was inevitable due the nature of the protracted conflict and some nations, particularly Turkey were concerned about the increase of Russian military influence in Syria. Turkey is believed to be supporting anti-Assad rebels in Syria whilst Assad is an ally of Russia. The recent Russian bombing campaigns, ostensibly directed towards ISIS targets, have also been targeting the same rebels along the border that Turkey may be assisting. Whilst Turkey and Russia do have economic ties, their disagreement in the future of Syrian politics appears to have now taken priority.

Russia condemned the attacks and immediately mobilised an increased military presence in the region including the S-400 anti-aircraft missile, which is Russia’s most advanced air defense technology. Putin has also publicly accused Turkey of being complicit with ISIS and providing financial aid to them by way of oil trades in Iraq.

Turkey is also a member of NATO and an ally of the US, which adds further a complication to the current situation. Following the Paris terror attacks on the 13th, it appeared that Russia and the US might well enter a new era of cooperation in the region with Obama and Putin sitting down to work on a mutual strategy for ISIS and Syria.

Whilst the US originally appears to back up Turkey’s version of events, sources suggest that may have changed their tune with an anonymous official indicating to the media that based on detections of the plane’s heat signature, it appears that impact occurred within Syrian airspace after a short seventeen second incursion into Turkish airspace.
On the other side of the globe, an apparent right wing extremist attack has occurred in the US state of Colorado, at a Planned Parenthood clinic. A suspect opened fire in the clinic resulting in at least eleven people requiring treatment at local hospitals and at least one police officer has died.

Police engaged the suspect in a number of shootouts before eventually arresting him six hours after the initial 911 call. Information pertaining to the identity or motive is not available as yet, however, it’s safe to assume that the location of the attack was no accident and that the motivation is related.



Former Liberal politician Amanda Vanstone has found herself in hot water this week after her insensitive remarks made on Channel 9’s panel show, The Verdict, in relation to Bindi Irwin.

The catalyst of Vanstone’s comment was Bindi Irwin’s triumph in the US reality show Dancing With the Stars. Bindi’s performances on the show reflected the loss of her father and her relationship with him. The Verdict host Karl Stefanovic congratulated Irwin on the win, and sympathised with all she has had to endure since the untimely death of her father.

Vanstone suggested that there was nothing special about her as she wasn’t the only kid that had lost a father. The studio audience and other panel members recoiled in shock at the outlandish statement with fellow panelist, Mark Latham, pointing out that it was inappropriate and something that “even he wouldn’t say.”

It comes as no surprise, given Vanstone is not particularly known for her compassion, especially when she was Immigration Minister under the Howard Government. All I can say is when you manage to say something that offends Mark Latham’s sensibilities, you need to have a good hard look at yourself.

Hopefully the Government will look to re-establish her credentials as an ambassador and send her to set up a new office in Syria.

The adult population of the Gold Coast breathed a sigh of relief as this year’s Schoolies celebrations came to a close with 200 fewer arrests than last year. The QLD tourist destination was inundated with 25,000 school leavers keen to celebrate the end of their high school lives with the party to end all parties.

The South Australian celebrations, which are traditionally more subdued than those on the Gold Coast, were marred by one particular incident that has horrified the entire country. An 18 year old from Renmark was reported for offensive behaviour and animal cruelty after allegedly dismembering a sea turtle in the seaside town of Goolwa.

The low life accused of this horrific incident was one of 240 people who were charged, reported or issued with fines or infringement notices during the celebrations.


Wacky and Wonderful

We see a lot of terrible, crazy things in the old US of A and we are guaranteed to see the worst of the worst on Black Friday. The day following Thanksgiving is considered the biggest shopping day of the year, with retailers across the country offering sizable discounts to mark the official start of the Christmas shopping season. While this sounds innocuous enough, the day traditionally brings out the absolute worst in people as they desperately try to snag a bargain.

This year was no different, with a number of incidents occurring across the country, the worst of which was a brawl that broke out in a Walmart store in El Paso. It resulted in a police officer being punched in the face as shoppers turned to violence to get a hold of the last big screen television.

Fights and brawls broke out in other locations as well, including one at the Mall St. Matthews in Louisville on Thanksgiving night.
Back home, the story of an assumed serious domestic violence situation has gone viral, as the victim (depending on which way you look at it) was none other than a spider.

Police in Wollstonecraft, NSW were alerted by neighbours to an escalating incident where a woman could be heard hysterically screaming and a man yelling “I’m going to kill you, you’re dead! Die, die!” as well as furniture being thrown around.

Police were quick to move to the premises, only to have the door answered by an out of breath, flushed man.

After questioning him, police quickly discovered that the “female” screams were actually from him and the aggressive threats were directed at a rather large spider, with the weapon of choice being a can of Mortein.

While police and most other people that read the story were immediately reduced to gut splitting laughter, I had far more sympathy. As a confirmed arachnophobe, I can state that if I had been in that situation, the fire department would have been the first phone call as I set fire to my house to ensure the bastard was dead.



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