It’s been a big week for Tony Abbott, who is requesting that Australia feel sorry for him. First, because he was head-butted by a drunk DJ in Hobart. Abbott immediately went to the press and said he was a ‘yes’ supporter for marriage equality and the attack was politically motivated. The DJ denies this. While he was wearing a sticker that said yes, the headbutt wasn’t motivated by marriage equality. DJ Astro Labe admits he was drunk, and:
All it was is I saw Tony Abbott and I’d had half a skinful and I wanted to nut the cunt.
So there. Still Abbott led the charge against yes campaigners, with other conservatives in tow, saying that the yes side of the debate is insensitive and aggressive. This week, Abbot’s protesting Macklemore performing his gay rights song ‘Same Love’ at the NRL Grand Final. In a Trump-like tweet, Abbott demanded to keep politics out of football. Some of his colleagues, including Malcom Turnbull, says he needs to calm down and support the choice of Macklemore as a popular artist. Check out our deep dive on marriage equality here.
In a week where Abbott stole most of the headlines for Australian politics, the Turnbull government announced a comprehensive review of Australian Family Law. It’ll be the most comprehensive review since 1976. It will examine the adversarial nature of legal proceedings, such as custody battles and divorces. The system is currently set up, some argue, to encourage, rather than subdue, conflict.
Treasurer Scott Morrison wants to let you know that they’ve helped the Australian economy. Australia’s budget deficit is about $4.5 billion better off than they anticipated back in May. This is mainly because of company tax collections and a slower than expected uptake of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The deficit is still $33.2 billion – and the government has previously vowed to fix it altogether.
Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has not backed down from comments he made on conservative radio about refugees on Manus Island and Nauru. He said they’ve received an “enormous amount of support from taxpayers”. And:
“We have been taken for a ride, I believe, by a lot of the advocates and people within Labor and the Greens who want you to believe this is a terrible existence. “
We’ll look into Australia’s refugee policy and the off-shore detention centres in our deep dive next Tuesday.
Malcom Turnbull has apparently saved us from a gas crisis. In the last months, it has been revealed that Australia has been heading towards a massive gas shortage in 2018 and 2019. Santos, Origin and Shell have all been shipping their excess gas to international markets where they can make more money, leaving Aussies behind. But after months of negotiation, the government has convinced the three companies to cover the predicted shortfall. Labor thinks this isn’t enough to simply trust the companies, rather, they should have higher taxes for their exports, or they should cap the amount of exports altogether. Gas is a key part of Australia’s energy system, which we did a deep dive on here.
Trump’s had a tough week. He tried to repeal the health care that Obama put in place and failed in Congress. He’s also started lashing out at African-American athletes who have refused to stand during the national anthem before games, instead taking a knee as a sign of protest. He’s losing ground quickly, as athletes across the country, regardless of race, have started taking the knee as a form of protest against Trump’s presidency, particularly his approach to racial conflict.
All of Puerto Rico is still without power a week after they were hit by Hurricane Maria. Trump’s approach to disaster relief has been heavily criticised. Some fresh water supply tanks have been mobbed. Complicating the issue is the ‘Jones Act’, which says that relief supplies can only be shipped via American transport, which means that a lot of Puerto Rico’s relief has been stranded in shipping containers back on America’s mainland. Trump finally waived the Jones Act a few hours ago.
Over 100,000 people have been evacuated from their villages in Bali after warnings that the volcano Mount Agung is getting ready to erupt. The last time the volcano erupted was in 1963. Around 30,000 cattle remain in the danger zone, threatening to disrupt the local economy if the livestock dies during the disaster.
Saudi Arabia finally allowed women to drive this week. It comes amidst growing tensions within the country’s politics to push a more progressive approach to gender.
New Zealand had an election last week, and the National Party, which has been in power for nine years, remained on top. Only just though, as new Labor leader, 39 year old Jacinda Arden, the youngest in the party’s history, applied a lot of pressure.
Germany’s also had an election, and has kept Angela Merkel as their leader. However, there’s been a rise of the far right in Germany, with the ‘Alternative for Germany’ party, which campaigned on climate change denial, immigration reform to ‘protect’ Germany, and to uphold ‘traditional family values’.
Twitter announced they’re going to double their character limit to 280 characters. The original 140 was designed around previous SMS limits.
Uber will not be allowed to operate in London by the end of the year. The mayor will not re-new Uber’s licence to operate, which expires at the end of September, for fears of public safety and some drivers earning less than minimum wage. The British PM has criticised the London mayor, and Uber has begun negotiations to reform its practices.
Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, has died at the age of 91 due to natural causes. In his death, some are labelling him a ‘pimp’, others an important social revolutionary who pushed liberal ideals from the late 1950’s.
“[I’m most proud] that I changed attitudes towards sex. That nice people can live together now. That I decontaminated the notion of premarital sex. That gives me great satisfaction.”
“I believe embracing sexuality is part of what it means to be free.”
We’ll be back next Tuesday talking about Australia’s immigration policy.
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