TBS Newsdesk

Current Affairs Wrap: US week of violence, double-talk in Australia

Approx Reading Time-10What a week. Violence again made itself known in the US, as our own politicians changed tack on their policies…before staying true to them. Very nice.



The week that was could be considered a particularly brutal one – in the streets of America, with the language of violence speaking loudest in locations familiar, and lesser so.

Explosions rocked the streets of New York. However, with the body count mercifully standing at nil, and the lack of information given officially (the NY mayor was not prepared to call it terrorism), the Internet went wild with speculation. As the days dripped past, a suspect was named, and subsequently found (albeit in a doorway in a NJ bar). Ahmad Khan Rahami was taken into custody after a brief spat with police.

Rahami apparently travelled to Pakistan and spent time in a seminary linked to the Taliban. Charges are yet to be made.

The cold hands of brutality also crept over the roads of Tulsa, as a white police officer, Betty Shelby, purportedly cut down an unarmed black man, Terence Crutcher – the aftermath of which was caught on Officer Shelby’s dash camera. In the words of the Tulsa County DA “(she) reacted unreasonably by escalating the situation…becoming emotionally involved to the point that she overreacted.”

The criminal complaint against Shelby said her “fear resulted in her unreasonable actions which led her to shooting” Crutcher, 40. She is accused of “unlawfully and unnecessarily” shooting him after he did not comply with her “lawful orders.” Shelby has since been charged with first-degree manslaughter, and has been released on $50,000 bail, pending trial. The Oklahoma law enforcement officer could face four years in prison, if convicted.


Image: CNN

As opposed to addressing the depressing violent schism in other places this week, which included an IS-endorsed knife frenzy in a Minnesota shopping mall that claimed eight, an attack in Washington and violence between protestors and police in North Carolina which claimed the life of one, it’s time to perhaps focus on the positive.

The “Free Hugs” project was also present in the visceral struggle, to dispense the feels, and not the barbs.


Elsewhere, a 6-year-old boy has shot to prominence (and the graces of the POTUS), via an earnest handwritten note, offering to take in Omran, the famous Syrian child blown by blood and dust, and teach him in the ways of spelling and addition, claiming that “we will give him a family, and he will be our brother”.


Image: ABC




Malcolm Turnbull has moved to build our nation’s intake of refugees, by offering to take Central American refugees fleeing the bloody hands of gang conflict that is currently raging in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. The PM made the announcement at the UN general assembly, claiming that the total intake number will stand at 18,750.

The plan, however, has drawn criticism from the opposition, with Bill Shorten labelling the figure mentioned as a “hoax”, claiming that Turnbull has merely reheated the “leftovers” from Tony Abbott’s policy. Mr Shorten soon added that “They haven’t dealt with the elephant in the room…the fact that we have nearly 2,000 people trapped in indefinite detention on Manus and Nauru.”

Whilst a people-swap with those on Manus and Naura has been ruled out, Mr Turnbull has announced funding for refugee programs of $130 million over the next three years, although that number will not boost the numbers of those welcomed down under.

For those set to be relocated from Central America, they are “surprised but grateful” to be taken in by the Commonwealth.

Also on The Big Smoke

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has come out in support of the much-maligned same-sex marriage plebiscite, putting aside her “own views” on the subject, and would vote for it in the Senate – but only on the proviso that the voting public support the issue, as a plebiscite.

Speaking on Joy FM in Melbourne, Hanson also claimed that the talk of hate running in the streets, and the mental health risks to young people, are overblown. Senator Hanson said she “associated with the gays and I’ve even worked with gays” but that not all of them wanted to get married. She believes the gay and lesbian community should be content with civil ceremonies.

So, she believes the debate will be a healthy one, and is toeing the line between supporting it, and not supporting it. Which is a classic political move – one that is very Pauline.


Have a good week, y’all!

Rob Idol is currently on assignment in Vietnam, and will be returning to the desk next week.


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