Tensions continue to mount over marriage equality. After the Senate (again) rejected the LNP’s bill for a plebiscite, the government then began procedures with the Australian Bureau of Statistics to have a postal plebiscite. Criticisms are numerous. The result of the process will be legally challengeable and have questionable authority. The postal vote will be voluntary. There are concerns the postal vote will miss younger voters, who are less likely to keep up their electoral enrolment as they move more frequently. More over, there’s a case to be made for the idea that this is not something the Government could actually ask the Bureau of Statistics to do – it might be outside their job description. So a group of advocates are challenging the idea in the High Court. In the meantime, you have just two weeks to make sure your details are up to date and you’re enrolled. Click here to enrol. If you want the full story, we did a deep dive on this topic on Tuesday, which has now been updated with the latest instalments.
It’s been a war of words this week between North Korea and the USA. Last week, North Korea is said to have successfully completed works on missiles that could hit America (and Australia for that matter), and in their best James Bond villain act, they announced they could put mini nukes on them. Trump fired back with typically aggressive language, which angered North Korea more. North Korea is threatening to hit a US military base in Guam, where 3,831 soldiers are stationed. Military leaders in the US have stated that there is ‘no imminent threat’ to US citizens, but there is reason to be concerned about China, Japan and South Korea, which North Korea also has problems with. For a summary of North Korea and why they’re pissed at everyone, check out our deep dive on the nation next Tuesday.
The Garma Festival has come to a close in Arnham Land, with a huge amount of indigenous elders coming together to discuss the need for Makarrata – a treaty between the Australian Government and Australia’s indigenous people. They impressed upon Prime Minister Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten a need for a constitutionally enshrined ‘First Nations’ voice to parliament – a constitutionally recognised body to represent indigenous voices at the heart of government. Malcom Turnbull has ruled out the idea that such a matter would go to a referendum – a national vote – where as Shorten has supported that move. Turnbull said he would take the matter back to the Government for discussion, but on returning to Canberra he was immediately swamped by the marriage equality debate, which has occupied the media this week.
Four coal mines are at risk of closing for not meeting their dust-monitoring standards. They are Glencore’s Oaky North and Oaky No.1 at Tieri, and Anglo’s Moranbah North and Grosvenor. In Moranbah this week, a young father lost his life while at work on a coal mine, leaving behind his son and wife.
19 million eligible voters in Kenya waited for many hours to vote in their national election this week. Raila Odinga has won the election, with independent observers saying the result is legitimate, although they warn against violence in the streets in the coming days.
Fifty or more refugees have been deliberately drowned by people smugglers off the coast of Yemen. The refugees were fleeing Ethiopia and Somalia. The average age of the refugees is 16. A United Nations representative has said that up to 2,405 people have died or disappeared during their attempted to cross the Mediterranean.
Country music superstar Glen Campbell passed away this week at the age of 81. Dolly Parton calls him one of the greatest musicians of all time. Pop on ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’and salute the stars.