One more week ’til the grave. Yowza. To fill the time we’ve had North Korea giving us a disappointing bang, Mark Latham taking on Anthony Mundine, and a text exchange that escalated quickly.
Hello all, and welcome to this week’s Current Affairs Wrap. We’ve had Kim Jong-un waving a stick, more controversy from Choc, some truths in SA, and Internet trolls banished to the nether realms.
North Korea finished the week by allegedly test firing another missile from a site near Bukchang, north of Pyongyang.
According to a statement from the South Korean military, it is believed that the launch was a failure. Nonetheless, it is likely to add fuel to the fast growing international fire in the region. US Pres Donald Trump responded on Twitter, saying:
“North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a mile today. Bad!”
I’m assuming he was wagging his finger whilst typing. According to the US military, the never left North Korean territory and did not pose a threat to North America. Japan has joined the US in condemning the launch, calling it unacceptable and a “violation of UN resolutions”. US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, addressed the UN this week, calling for further economic sanctions on North Korea to help push for a denuclearisation of the rogue nation. North Korea’s main ally and largest trading partner, China, has thus far been reluctant to use economic pressure (as the only country that could really apply it) and maintains that the matter can be resolved diplomatically.
The US have also begun preparations this week to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defence system into South Korea.
Whilst the reported purpose is to better protect South Korea from the growing potential of a missile attack from North Korea, the deployment has drawn anger from both China and Russia who believe the deployment undermines their nuclear deterrents in the region. Many South Koreans, including presidential candidate Moon Jae-in, are opposed to the deployment right now, believing that it will do nothing but escalate the volatile standoff in the region.
Also on The Big Smoke
- Current Affairs Wrap: North Korea’s limp bang, Mundine v Latham, Textual assault in Wisconsin
- #AusPol winners and losers: Who cared not for Abbott’s tone?
British counter-terrorism police have reportedly prevented a terrorist plot following raids in London and south-east England. The raids resulted in six arrests as well as an incident that saw one suspect shot by police.
The woman, whose identity has not been revealed yet, is said to be in her twenties and the subject of an ongoing investigation. She is believed to be in a serious but stable condition in hospital following the incident.
Five people in total were arrested at the house in the Willesden area of London including 16-year-old boy, a 20-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man. One further arrest of a 43-year-old woman was made in Kent.
Earlier in the day, a man was arrested armed with three knives in the area near Prime Minister Theresa May’s office in Westminster. The arrest occurred during a stop and search operation by armed counter-terrorism police. The suspect, a 27-year-old British national by the name of Mohammed Khalid Omar Ali, was already under observation by British intelligence services.
He has been remanded into custody under suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon as well as preparing for acts of terrorism.
I think most of us would agree that if you put Mark Latham and Anthony Mundine in a room with a camera rolling, it would be very unlikely to be boring. Latham interviewed Mundine this week on his YouTube show, Outsiders, when the topic of violence against women and Islam came up.
Mundine, who converted to Islam in 1999, was discussing his perspective on the teachings of Islam and what it means to be a Muslim. Ben Fordham, who also appeared on the program, was discussing the fallout from Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s controversial tweet on Anzac Day and her earlier appearance on ABC’s Q&A where her reference to Islam as being the most “feminist” of religions caused significant backlash.
Fordham asked Mundine whether, as a Muslim man, those comments (regarding Islam and feminism) rang true. Mundine replied in the affirmative and said:
“God created two creatures, male and female, different in stature and different roles to play in society. For me, all the answers are in the Quran, the holy Quran”
Latham jumped in, suggesting that the Quran was concerning and quoted a verse from the book, that said:
“‘Men are in charge of women. Good women are therefore obedient. For women who might disobey, it’s recommended to admonish them, leave them alone in their sleeping places and then beat them.’ That doesn’t sound very feminist.”
Mundine defended the verse, suggesting that the word “beat” wasn’t supposed to mean violence but rather a light brushing from an “Arab toothbrush”, which Fordham clarified as a little stick. Latham challenged again, asking why you need to “encourage any sort of physicality” to which Mundine replied, “It doesn’t promote physicality. You cannot beat your woman or anybody by beating them physically.”
I’m still a little confused as to what you do with the little stick. Maybe wave it in their general direction?
In Mundine’s defence, he was unequivocal in denouncing any type of domestic violence further into the interview and suggested that leaders who condone it should “brush up on their beliefs and faith”. Also in Mundine’s defence…he’s been paid for the last two decades to be dropped on his head.
Also on The Big Smoke
- While you were asleep: World’s first artificial womb, Parkinson’s cure afoot, Wes Anderson’s return
- While you were asleep: Le Pen “quits” party, Bernardi’s reinforcements, M Night’s greatest twist ending
- While you were asleep: French election starts, Vic battles drive-by, Avatar sequels confirmed
- While you were asleep: NK’s birthday wish, NFL star dead in prison, Adidas ad gaffe
A report was released this week by the Australian Energy Regulator into the controversial load shedding in South Australia which left 90,000 properties without power on a hot evening in February this year. At the time, the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) pointed the finger at the South Australian Government. The Prime Minister and the Liberal Party pointed the finger at them and their focus on renewable energy sources such as wind power, using it as a war cry against the lofty renewables targets implemented by the SA government. The SA Liberal Party joined the same chorus, setting it up to be one of the major battlegrounds in the upcoming SA state election.
As many commentators, myself included, pointed out at the time that the finger was being pointed in the wrong direction, purely for the purposes of political gain. According to the report from the Regulator this week, that’s pretty much exactly what happened.
The report indicates that AEMO underestimated the high level of demand and overestimated the power output from wind generators – both of which, in simple terms, describes their job.
In addition to this, distributor SA Power Networks performed load shedding that was three times the level actually ordered by AEMO, allegedly due to a fault in their automatic load shedding software.
Funnily enough, there hasn’t been a comment from Turnbull and Co as to the report yet. But you have to give your spin doctors time and room to work…
Wacky and wonderful
One of my favourite little procrastinations on the Internet is looking at wrong number text websites. People publish wrong number texts that they’ve received (and quite often really shouldn’t have) to give us all a laugh; some of the really clever ones mess with the person and hilarity ensues.
A 35-year-old man from Wisconsin was the recipient of such a text this week, which read:
“Hunny please grab milk and lunch meet (sic) on your way home”
The recipient was home at the time and didn’t recognise the number so deduced that he was not the intended recipient. A fact that he quickly relayed to the sender. The sender, however, was having none of it, seemingly convinced that she had sent her request to the correct number and that her daughter was simply pretending to be someone else to escape from having to help her dear old mum out.
Fed up with with the senders denial, the recipient began to play the part for a little before having a pang of conscience and re-iterating the mistake – he even sent photos of himself and his wife to prove that he was indeed a 35-year-old man and not the sender’s daughter.
The sender eventually cottoned on after finding her daughter sleeping at home and unleashed a tirade of abuse at the recipient. Apparently the tone of his texts was not sincere enough for her to believe it wasn’t her daughter. He managed to keep his sense of humour and cracking one liners in tact while she continued to abuse him.
Some people should really never be given modern technology…
Speaking of, Pennsylvania State Congressman, Brian Sims, was on the receiving end of a disparaging homophobic and racial slur on Facebook this week. Sims, who is openly gay, received a post on his wall that simply read “N***er fa***t” – I’m sure you can work it out. Whilst trying to work out how the poster possibly mistook him for an African American, Sims took the high ground and responded brilliantly.
He called the guy’s grandmother.
Sims’ response read:
“David, I can’t tell if you’re just a really dumb little boy or an angry bigot but I know for sure that you shouldn’t have posted your grandmother’s telephone number on your Facebook page. She and I just had a very disappointing chat. We’ll talk soon”
Jokes aside, Sims’ rationale for the move was to highlight the cowardice behind the average keyboard warrior, as he pointed out in a later post:
“It is the ultimate calling card of a coward to – under the guise of night and behind a keyboard – use the kind of language that in person would cause most decent people to respond in anger and frustration. The reason people do things like this is they don’t have the courage, the education or gumption to do this kind of thing in person.”
Have a cracking week, TBSers!