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- Julian Assange’s last court appearance taught us one thing
- Father Rod Bower: “People of faith aren’t being discriminated against”
In the week that was: Tragedy as a bullied teen took his life in Queensland, our most wanted terrorist arrested in Turkey and Pauline Hanson took a swim to disprove coral bleaching.
Hello all and welcome to this week’s Current Affairs Wrap. We’ve lost another small screen icon, the ground and skies have been shaking around the world and Pauline Hanson took a leisurely swim at the Great Barrier Reef to debunk this whole climate change nonsense.
The unfeeling beast named 2016 continued its vendetta against us mere mortals this week, with the passing of everyone’s favourite TV mum, Florence Henderson. Most famous for playing the wholesome Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch, Henderson died on Thursday night in Los Angeles from heart failure at the age of 82.
Tributes have poured in from around the world, especially from her “TV children”, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, Barry Williams and Susan Olsen. Henderson had attended a taping of Dancing with the Stars earlier in the week to support McCormack who played eldest Brady Bunch daughter, Marcia; Henderson herself became one of the oldest contestants on Dancing with the Stars in 2010 at the age of 76.
One can only assume that Marcia’s eulogy will be preferred over Jan’s in a measure of tribute.
Mother Nature has been making herself known this week with major earthquakes occurring in both New Zealand and Japan as well as Hurricane Otto launching an attack on Central America.
A 5.6 magnitude quake hit Central New Zealand just over a week after a 7.8 magnitude quake hit the country, killing two people. Whilst no major damage or injuries were reported from this quake, the region has been consistently hit by tremors over the past decade, the worst being a quake in Christchurch five years ago that tragically killed 185 people.
Japan was also hit with a 7.4 magnitude quake at the beginning of the week which resulted in tsunami waves of up to 1.4 metres. As the dust settled, the country was hit with another quake a few days later, measuring 6.1 magnitude. Both quakes had a seismic centre off the Fukushima prefecture, bringing back harrowing memories of the 2011 quake which caused Japan’s worst atomic accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. The plant’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power, have reported that the latest quakes have not caused any problem at the plant.
Also on The Big Smoke
Hurricane Otto, which sounds like a Luchadore wrestler, or a particularly nasty drifter, has made its way across Central America, leaving millions of dollars’ worth of damage in its wake and killing nine people in Costa Rica.
Costa Rican President, Luis Guillermo Solis, has declared three days of mourning following the tragedy commencing on Monday. Nicaragua was hit with 175 kilometre winds when Otto made landfall in the southeast of the country. Nicaraguan officials have thankfully reported no casualties, most likely due to Otto making landfall in a sparsely inhabited area of the country.
A 7.0 magnitude earthquake was also recorded nearby however no damage was reported and a Tsunami warning in El Salvador and Nicaragua was quickly lifted.
A Brisbane family is in mourning this week following the shocking suicide of thirteen year old, Tyrone Unsworth.
Tyrone’s mother, Amanda, has spoken to the media about the relentless bullying that Tyrone was subjected to as a result of his sexuality, which she believes is what led to his untimely death. She indicated that Tyrone was attacked less than a month ago with fence paling by a fellow student which resulted in him requiring surgery for his injuries and left him too afraid to return to school.
Aspley State High School have expressed their condolences but were quick to make it clear that they had never received any complaints or allegations of bullying against Tyrone at any stage. Ms Unsworth indicated that they were aware of the most recent incident that resulted in Tyrone’s hospitalisation however the incident occurred after hours and away from school grounds and was therefore reported directly to the police.
Research from the Safe Schools Coalition Australia shows that 75 percent of lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender and intersex teenagers have been subjected to abuse or discrimination with most of it occurring at school. In addition, just over 80 percent of LGBTI teenagers have indicated that they do not feel supported by their school.
Also on The Big Smoke
Australia’s most wanted terrorist, Neil Prakash, has reportedly been arrested in Turkey. His arrest allegedly came several weeks ago following Australian authorities contacting the Turkish government indicating they had intelligence he was planning on entering the country. Reports suggest that he was arrested crossing from the Syrian border using false documents and a fake name.
The Australian Federal Police issued a warrant for Prakash’s arrest in 2015. The Government then announced in May that he had been killed in a US airstrike on the Iraqi city of Mosul however it emerged later that he managed to escape.
Prakash was born in Melbourne to a Fijian father and a Cambodian mother and converted from Buddhism to Islam in August 2012 following a visit to Cambodia. He has been a key recruiter for Islamic State in Australia and was allegedly involved in foiled terror plots at Anzac Day commemorations in 2015 and 2016.
Wacky and wonderful
Pauline Hanson has never been backwards in coming forward. She’s a woman of action, always looking to get to the front line of an issue to investigate it for herself. As her party continued this week to question the already scientifically proven existence of climate change, Pauline got on the front foot, donned a wetsuit and went swimming on the Great Barrier Reef to prove that it was completely healthy and we have nothing to worry about.
It turns out that Senator Hanson was correct and managed to highlight “untruths being told about the natural wonder’s health”. That is, of course, if you ignore the fact that Hanson’s dip occurred about 1,000 kilometres away from the area of the reef that has been affected by coral bleaching.
At least we finally got to fulfil our shared dream of seeing Pauline in a wetsuit…
Australia is a dangerous place. I often revel in scaring the shit out of my overseas friends with tales of encounters with the high proportion of deadly and venomous creatures that call Australia home. But this is a new one:
A Queensland woman was driving between Wivenhoe Dam and Esk on the Brisbane Valley Highway when she was dive bombed by an eagle. We’re all used to the odd attack from our avian friends however this one has a bit of a twist, as the bombing bird was also carrying its lunch…a snake.
Ms Fenwick told the media that everyone in the car froze as they watched the snake fly towards them at high speed before smashing into the car’s windscreen. The entire incident was caught on camera thanks to a dashcam.
Have a cracking week, TBSers!