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. www.robidol.com.au

Approx Reading Time-17Safe to say many a bad moon was on the rise this week, with North Korea’s threats of nuclear proliferation and the decriminalisation of public self-love. Heady days.

 


Hello all and welcome to this week’s Current Affairs Wrap. We’ve had a scary escalation from North Korea, a new iPhone, a shadow frontbencher sent home with his halal snack pack and a couple of very phallic themed stories that I just couldn’t resist including.

 

International

It has become increasingly easy to ignore the litany of threats, boasts and propaganda that consistently come out of North Korea. If Kim Jong-un’s rhetoric was to believed, North Korea would possess the most powerful military on the planet. This week, however, we received a stark reminder that amongst the BS, there are some very real and dangerous truths.

Late this week, North Korea conducted its fifth and most powerful nuclear test. The test triggered a 5.3 magnitude earthquake, and by all reports was completely genuine. The US Geological Survey reported that the quake had “explosion-like characteristics” with an epicentre near a known North Korean nuclear test site.

North Korea publicly announced the success of the test and have also claimed to have “standardised” a nuclear warhead. The claim can’t be verified and it’s not believed that they have the ability to standardise a nuclear warhead, nor to subsequently weaponise it via a missile delivery system. However, analysts and military representatives from around the world believe that this is now simply a matter of time. Kelsey Davenport, the director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association has suggested that the rate of improvement in North Korea’s missile program could very well see them pose a direct threat to the US mainland inside the next decade.

Earlier in the week, three medium range missiles were also launched from North Korea, travelling around 600 miles towards Japan which puts the Chinese city of Hangzhou within their current reach capabilities; Hangzhou has been the location of the G20 summit this week.

Apple announced the upcoming iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus this week and as usual, everybody is talking about it. The biggest buzz has been surrounding the rumored and now confirmed decision to remove the standard headphone jack from the next release, which has left many vowing not to purchase the device. You know, the same people that vowed not to buy it when they changed to a lightning power adaptor and then bought one anyway.

The device will ship with a pair of wired headphones that plug into the lightning power port and a converter to allow you to plug your old school wired headphones into the lightning port. A new set of wireless headphones called “AirPods” will be available for $229 for those wanting to cut the cord completely.

For the naysayers, there is a silver lining. The removal of the headphone jack has achieved two significant improvements in the device: the battery is 14% larger (which you’ll definitely need if you have to stream all of your audio wirelessly) and it’s now water resistant which will be huge relief to the tens of thousands that have watched their prized possession take a nosedive into a urinal (in an attempt to get the ultimate selfie, no doubt). The new devices also boast a 40% faster chip and a dual lens camera to ensure you get good depth of field when photographing that spag bol you just whipped up for dinner.

Despite this, the announcement didn’t go quite to plan with the Apple stock price losing 2.5 percent (its steepest fall since late June).

It also Appears that Apple may not have done their homework, with the slogan for the release being, in true minimalist style, “This is 7”, which loosely and colloquially translates to “This is penis” in Cantonese.

 

Domestic

We “put out our bats” in tribute to Aussie cricketer Phillip Hughes following his tragic death; we “put out our onions” in honour of Tony Abbott confirming that he is a reptilian overlord hiding in human skin by eating a raw onion like an apple. This week saw us “put out our Halal Snackpacks” in honour of Senator Sam Dastyari following his resignation from the shadow frontbench this week.

Dastyari came under heavy fire from all sides this week when it was revealed that rather than pay a $1,670.82 bill to cover an overspend on his travel budget, he asked a private education company, Tom Education Institute, to pay the excess for him. Top Education Institute is owned by Chinese businessman, Minshen Zhu, who reportedly has strong links to the Chinese Government. Dastyari declared the “donation”, as he was required to, but quickly became the posterchild for the latest backlash against the myriad privileges our pollies enjoy.

If that had been the worst of it, it probably would have been all over soon after; he didn’t use taxpayer money, meaning most of us really don’t care. Unfortunately for Dastyari, the news broke at the same time that he had backed China’s position in the South China Sea at an event that he attended with…that’s right, you guessed it: Minshen Zhu. Apart from it being an unpopular opinion throughout most of the free world, it was also the exact opposite of the official Labor stance on the issue.

When we repeatedly hit situations where our politicians act within the rules but not within the expectations of the public, then the rules need a serious change.

As the vultures circled, Dastyari was left with little choice but to hand in his frontbench resignation, which Bill Shorten accepted. Dastyari told the media, “From the beginning, I freely admitted that I made a mistake. I made all the necessary disclosures and what I did was within the rules, but it was wrong.”

In that final line, Dastyari effectively hit the crux of the issue – when we repeatedly hit situations where our politicians act within the rules but not within the expectations of the public, then the rules need a serious change. Dastyari may have fallen on his sword, but it has brought a very important date back into the limelight. So much so that Liberal MP Christopher Pyne ended up in very heated debate with Today host Karl Stefanovic on the topic. As Pyne took the opportunity to continue to lay the boot into Dastyari’s bleeding political corpse, Stefanovic pointed out the hypocrisy of the furore from the Liberal side of the fence given it had received a $65,000 political donation from the same company that paid for Dastyari’s additional travel expenses – when Pyne was Education Minister.

Pyne was less than impressed, accusing Stefanovic of defamation, suggesting that the two are in no way related. Stefanovic responded in kind, accusing Pyne of defaming him by accusing him of defaming Pyne. And the schoolyard microcosm that is Australian politics rolls on…

A teenager has been charged for making threats against one of our most popular icons, the Sydney Opera House, telling security guards that he travelled to the front of the building with a backpack containing canisters of brake fluid, on the “instructions of Islamic State”.

Whilst police have reported that the 18-year-old has an intellectual disability and most likely isn’t capable of carrying out such an attack, investigators felt they had no option but to charge him anyway due to the escalation in his behaviour over the last few weeks.

The potential threat has caught attention, particularly as the arrest occurred two days after Islamic State released an article specifically urging followers to launch attacks on Australians at the Opera House, Bondi Beach and the MCG.

The article appears to be prompted by the death in Syria of convicted Australian terrorist Ezzit Raad, who was jailed in 2005 for his connection to a plot to blow up the MCG.

The article goes on to describe Australia as “a land cloaked in darkness and corrupted by kufr, fornication, and all forms of vice.” Personally, I object to the “darkness” reference as no-one that had ever travelled to our fair land would never describe it as “dark”. But I’ll pay the “fornication and all forms of vice,” and I’ll wear it with bloody pride. What IS are calling “vice”, we call “freedom”.

 

Wacky and wonderful

I apologise in advance to all of you faithful TBS readers; the Wacky and wonderful section is going cheap and lowbrow this week. I blame Apple – they started it with their iPhone 7 dick joke.

It’s been a good week for the perverts and exhibitionists of the world as Italy’s Supreme Court has announced that a recent change to the country’s criminal code by the Italian Parliament has resulted in public masturbation no longer being a criminal act – providing it isn’t performed in the presence of a minor.

The story hit the news after the Supreme Court overturned a case against 69-year-old Pietro L from Catania, who was convicted in May 2015 of “practicing autoeroticism”. I seriously couldn’t make this up. He was originally sentenced to three months in prison along with a €3,420 fine, however the case has now been kicked back to the Prefect of Catania for re-sentencing. Pietro will still receive an administrative fine which could range between €5,000 and €30,000, but he will avoid prison.

The decision does raise concerns, given the Italian penchant for talking with their hands…but I’m going to leave that one alone.


Also on The Big Smoke


Next door in Spain, it seems that the old adage “necessity is the mother of all invention” is being stretched to its limits with the release of the world’s first “hands-free penis bidet”.

A team from Valencia have created the “Urinal 2.0” which uses sensors to detect when urination is complete before kicking into action. The appendage is then “doused with a curtain of soapy water for three seconds”. A dryer then starts to ensure everything is clean and dry before being put away.

Jokes aside, it’s not actually a terrible idea; the concept was developed by Eduard Gevorkyan, a biochemist, with a focus on improving male hygiene and I would imagine that anything that achieves that will make the world a little better for everyone.

That’s it from me, TBSers. Have a great week!