Current Affairs Wrap: The FBI knocks on Hillary’s door, Cold War II and the dog that got everything

Approx Reading Time-11What a terrible week. We had the FBI reopen the Hillary email investigation, and the Dreamworld situation got ugly. But a Golden Retriever made the most of it. Let’s elect her.



There is barely a double-digit number separating us from today and the day we witness the culmination of the most insane election of our time, and we have seen behaviour befitting such a title over the last few days, to add. Eyes, as well as potentially heads, rolled with the FBI reopening the case on Hillary Clinton’s private email cache. For those playing at home, it’s the one which has nothing in it. The investigation was rebooted thanks to a parallel investigation, which was pursuing the alleged sexting chicanery of Anthony Weiner.

Clinton has immediately responded to the news, welcoming it, imploring the FBI to reveal all new information. However, as The Big Smoke’s chief political analyst Nicholas Harrington pointed out, the issue is not what she faces now, as the investigation will take some time to complete, but rather what she faces in the near-distant future, and the position that she holds if found guilty. If her name is POTUS when the gavel falls, the political vacuum will be vast. Watergate 2: Indict Harder might be the name on the matinee, but that’s merely speculation. However, for the pedestrian US voter, for those on the fence, those stuck between stopping Donald and voting for someone who has potentially dabbled in federal crime, the choice is a tricky, and subjective one. Will it turn the election? Maybe. Will it change the minds of those undecided? Absolutely. Will it change the minds of those who have already voted? Well…:

Elsewhere, good news for geopolitical hipsters everywhere, for some international troop movements this week hinted at something familiar, yet also new, sweeping throughout the landscape. Yes, the Cold War is so hot right now. With the Russian fleet moving to extend their muscular downstairs-arm on the Syrian front, the US, Germany, Britain and Canada have tabled plans to move troops into Poland (tanks, artillery, troops) and Romania (fighter jets) which represents NATO’s largest build up since the Cold War. Yippee. Now, Poland and Romania share a border with Russia, and tangible troops are a bold statement, but not one that was unexpected, for subsequent US administrations from Bill Clinton to present have shifted NATO membership ever closer to Russia, which could easily be viewed as a reverse Iron Curtain.

“Why, tho?”, as the kiddies, and potential future combatants, say. Well, according to Sec-Gen Jens Stoltenberg, the troops are a “measured response” to what the alliance *believes are some 330,000 Russian troops stationed on her western flank.

*that’s “believes”, not “knows for sure”.

From the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday:

“This month alone, Russia has deployed nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad and suspended a weapons-grade plutonium agreement with the United States,” Stoltenberg said, also accusing Russia of continued support for rebels in Ukraine. Those ballistic missiles can hit targets across Poland and the Baltics, although NATO officials declined to say if Russia had moved nuclear warheads to Kaliningrad.

NATO’s aim is to make good on a July promise by NATO leaders to deter Russia in Europe’s ex-Soviet states, after Moscow orchestrated the annexation of the Crimea peninsula in 2014.

This cock-size showing of power, enabled by gut instincts and impulsive leaping upon information, is very familiar. The first time around we may have poisoned two generations, and the political logic with fear, but we escaped nuclear annihilation. Honestly, do we really want to go there again?



Meanwhile, in Australia,

Nah. Jokes. I just thought we needed a break from nuclear sabre rattling, and the potential destruction of the US political system.

Moving on; the pale tableau of Dreamworld, which has become cold fact; the open palms covering mouths in frozen shock having now turned to a finger to point. Ardent Leisure, who run the park, apparently face lengthy time inside if found guilty of negligence, however, with that being a low probability, the real crisis Ardent faces is not the clink, but the penalties accrued from legal action. A representative from the legal firm involved, Alison Barrett, informed AAP, “a wide variety of people have called. People who have been directly involved, people who have been witnesses, people who weren’t even there but have a story to tell.” Barrett is also calling for a revamp of workplace health and safety laws, saying, “The directors can also be held personally liable and face jail time of up to five years or penalties of up to $600,000 each.”

“But there is no industrial manslaughter charge where a director would be criminally responsible in Queensland.”

She said that’s also true for most of Australia, but believes it’s time for the federal government to show leadership and encourage states and territories to change that.


Wacky and wonderful

Everyone’s favourite foul-mouthed, gunslinging head of state, Rodrigo Duterte, has turned over a new leaf, powered by divine intervention. Not his violent tendencies, lord, no, but rather his propensity to say naughty words. Dirty Roddy found himself backhanded by the word of the Lord mid-plane journey, as a voice spoke to him saying “If you don’t stop epithets, I will bring this plane down now.” Not keen on letting the audience draw its own conclusions, he told the gathered media what happened next

“And I said, ‘Who is this?’ So, of course, ‘It’s God’.”

Speculation here, but perhaps it was the Pope who tattled on him to the big man upstairs.

Finally, because this entire article has been vastly grim, let us finish on a positive note, with Jolene the Golden Retriever who’s dreams came true when her favourite toy in the world, Gumby, came to life.

Gah. My stupid heart!

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