Rob Idol

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

Ah, the week we survived. America registered the crack of gun violence, strawberried needles became the pre-eminent topic in Australia and we became intimately familiar with Donald’s member.

 

 

Hello and welcome to this week’s Current Affairs Wrap. We’ve seen a week of shootings in the US of A, tragedy in Tanzania, strawberry fever back home and a Freudian kind of week on the Interwebs.

 

International

The US states of Wisconsin and Maryland were gripped by terror this week following two unrelated shooting incidents. The first occurred earlier in the week in Wisconsin at a software company. The incident saw a heavily armed man open fire on his co-workers. Three people were seriously injured before police shot the assailant dead.

The Middleton Police Department responded quickly to the shooting, with police chief Chuck Foulke reporting that officers killed the man within eight minutes of receiving calls notifying them of an active shooter. Foukle also reported that the man was armed with a semiautomatic pistol as well as extra supplies of ammunition, and indicated that the motivation for the attack was currently unclear. He did however confirm that the shooter was an employee of the company where the shooting occurred.

Later in the week, another shooting took place at a Rite Aid warehouse in Aberdeen, Maryland which saw at least three people killed. The shooter has been identified as a 26-year-old woman who also died from what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Harford County Police later identified the suspect as Snochia Moseley.

Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler advised the media that Moseley was a temporary employee at the Rite Aid distribution centre and that she used a handgun in the attack. He also advised that Moseley had arrived at work at the usual time before commencing her attack at around 9am local time. Gahler also indicated that a motive for the attack is not yet known. Moseley reportedly had no police record save traffic offences and a contract dispute. The 9mm weapon used was also allegedly registered to the shooter.

One witness indicated that Moseley appeared to be in a heated argument with another employee following a “town hall meeting” at the workplace. The same witness indicated that Moseley didn’t appear to have a target but was randomly shooting. Another witness indicated that Moseley “just came in in a bad mood this morning…She just came in to pick a fight with someone.”

The shootings this week bring the number of mass shootings in the US this year to 262. With 263 days having passed at the time of the last shooting, this represents a mass shooting almost every day this year; yet some seem to think they don’t have a problem.


Also on The Big Smoke


Hundreds of people are feared dead following an incident in Tanzania that saw a ferry sink in Lake Victoria. So far, 151 people have been confirmed as dead however it’s believed that the death toll could pass two-hundred.

Mwanza regional commissioner John Mongella told the media that 37 people had been rescued thus far, however he could not speculate on how many people were on board. Other unverified sources have suggested that there were approximately 300 people on board at the time.

The Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency, who are responsible for servicing the ferry, reported that the ferry had been travelling between the islands of Ukara and Bugolora before capsizing only metres from the dock in the Ukerewe district. Lake Victoria has often been the site of deadly accidents, with the deadliest usually occurring in the Tanzanian section of the Lake due to the boats being old and in poor condition.

In 2012, 145 people died in a ferry disaster in Tanzania near Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean and in 1996, at least 500 perished in a ferry disaster on Lake Victoria.

Theresia Mwami, a spokesperson for the Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency, told the media that the ferry had recently been serviced, with an overhaul of two engines occurring in the months leading up to the tragedy. The captain of the vessel has been arrested and it has been revealed that he may not been on board, and had possibly delegated control to an unqualified subordinate. President Magufuli has ordered the arrest of anyone remotely responsible for the tragedy.

 

Domestic

The entire country has been gripped by a very unexpected but terrifying crisis this week; the wilful sabotage of our food supply. Strawberries across the country have been discovered with sewing needles inside them, creating panic everywhere.

The first incident was reported by authorities in Queensland on September 13 where several confirmed cases of strawberries with needles in them were revealed. On September 15, NSW Police confirmed that strawberries with needles inside them had been purchased from a Sydney supermarket.

Then on September 16, South Australian police reported a needle was found in a punnet of strawberries purchased in the Adelaide Hills, followed quickly by a report from Tasmania that strawberries contaminated by needles were found at a Hobart supermarket.

The next day, Western Australia Police also confirmed that the problem had spread there with a man in the town of York locating a needle in his kitchen sink after preparing strawberries to eat. Thankfully to date, there have not been any serious injuries, though a number of people have been admitted to hospital for primarily minor, related injuries.

Late in the week, reports came in suggesting that the problem had spread to the Northern Territory with a needle being found inside a strawberry purchased at a Darwin supermarket earlier in the week. However NT Police deputy commissioner Grant Nicholls indicated that there was “every chance” it was a copycat incident.

Tracking down the source is proving difficult with at least seven brands affected, including Donnybrook Berries, Love Berry, Delightful Strawberries, Oasis Brands, Berry Obsession, Berry Licious and Mal’s Black Label strawberries.

Australian Federal Police and Border Force have been assisting the Queensland Police-led investigation. Australian Federal Police commissioner Andrew Colvin indicated that they believe there are copycats involved now which explains the sharp increase to over 100 reported incidents.

Home affairs minister Peter Dutton has also pointed to a large number of false reports and fake social media posts which are making things more difficult. “It is a diversion of policing resource, when we want to find the true culprits here,” Dutton said. “I would encourage anyone to pull any of that content down that they have posted up that is fictional or is of a fabricated arrangement.” But the problem is further hampered by the fact that no-one in the country could possibly ever believe a word that comes out of Peter Dutton’s mouth.

The problem also seems to be spreading to other fruit with cases involving both bananas and apples having been reported. Whilst some in the strawberry industry have suggested that the government’s reaction has been excessive and is seriously hurting their bottom line, until the culprit or culprits are caught, caution seems appropriate given the potential danger.


Also on The Big Smoke


It’s fair to say that most of us aren’t overly happy with the state of politics in our great southern land at the moment. The recent leadership spill seemed to be the tipping point that saw the population finally agree that “enough is enough” – not that we can do anything about it until the next election, of course. But just when you thought we’d reached the absolute bottom, Pauline Hanson reminded us that she has no problem grabbing a shovel and digging further.

Senator Hanson moved a motion in the Senate this week asking the Upper House to acknowledge a “rise of anti-white racism” and also asked them to officially acknowledge that it is “okay to be white”.

Hanson pointed to the “huge overreaction” to a T-shirt bearing the same slogan worn by Canadian far-right troll Lauren Southern when she visited Australia recently. She also took to Twitter to drive it home, saying “If the Senate won’t agree to this then we have to admit Australia truly has an anti-white racism problem.”

So while we have innocent people languishing on our offshore detention centres, over 100,000 (and rising) Australians who are homeless (14% of which are under the age of 12), exorbitant wait times for public housing and 2.9 million people living below the poverty line, the reaction to a T-Shirt is the number one priority in Pauline Hanson’s eyes. I hope that makes you as angry as it makes me.

 

Wacky and wonderful

This week’s news seems to have a phallic focus that would have given Freud a wet dream. Early in the week, the woman who may bring down US President Donald Trump, pornstar Stormy Daniels, released her book, Full Disclosure, and immediately won the prize for the least misleading title in history.

Daniels detailed her alleged affair with the Don in the book – some details that most of us could have happily lived the rest of our existence without knowing. When describing her carnal encounters with Trump, Daniels opted to provide vivid details of the First Member…and it wasn’t pretty or gratifying.

Daniels wrote, “He knows he has an unusual penis. It has a huge mushroom head. Like a toadstool…I lay there, annoyed that I was getting fucked by a guy with Yeti pubes and a dick like the mushroom character in Mario Kart…”

Poor Toad…poor, poor Toad. I’ll never be able to pick him again when I play Mario Kart.


Also on The Big Smoke


If ruining the good name of an innocent toadstool wasn’t enough, this week also saw us learn and see a lot more of our favourite caped crusader. Like Stormy’s description of Trump Jr, this one has quickly joined the category of things we never really needed to see or hear. DC comics have released a new Black Label series aimed at more mature readers, promising darker and grittier storylines. The first edition, Batman: Damned was released this week and, as promised, we were gifted a side of Batman we’ve never seen before.

Within its pages contains panels where the Dark Knight returns to the Batcave after a long night of trying to solve the Joker’s murder. As he walks along and discards the cape and mask, we are presented with a full frontal view of what some have cleverly dubbed, the Batawang. The Internet lost it’s collective shit.

Can’t wait to see what happens when they release the upcoming Superman and Wonder Woman stories under the same series.

 

That’s it from me, TBSers, have a cracking week!

 

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