Back from his Indonesian sabbatical, Rob Idol returns to Trump doing Trump things, chicanery at Rio and a father who has presumably gone off chocolate. Welcome back, Rob!
Hello all and welcome to this week’s Current Affairs Wrap. We’ve had trouble in the Trump Camp, Olympians behaving badly and the depraved side of the Internet in full force.
There appears to be trouble in Trumparadise, with The Don undertaking a significant overhaul of his team in an effort to slow his sliding poll numbers. Trump’s campaign chief, Paul Manafort, was demoted this week in a bid to shake up Trump’s image. However, it appears that there might be much more to the story as Ukrainian authorities this week released details of payments equaling around $16.7 million from Ukraine’s former Russian-backed leaders.
Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau released documentation showing 22 payments that were allocated to Manafort when he was employed as public relations advisor of former Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, from 2007-2012. The Bureau have highlighted that they don’t have evidence that Manafort actually received the allocated payments and Manafort has strongly denied receiving them.
But in the world of politics, if it quacks like a duck…
Trump’s choice for Manafort’s replacement is Kellyanne Conway and he has also appointed Stephen Bannon, executive chairman of the conservative news website, Breitbart, as his chief executive. According to analysts, Conway’s appointment may be a smart one on Trump’s part with her being described as analytical and numbers-driven with a pragmatic approach to winning campaigns; something most would agree has been seriously lacking from the Trump camp thus far.
Bannon’s appointment, however, is a little less surprising, as he has a reputation for being brash and outspoken with commentators suggesting he “likes to push the limits of polite conversation and revels in taking the fight up a notch”. Sounds rather similar to his would be Commander-and-Chief. Given that Trump recently accused outgoing President, Barack Obama, of being the founder of ISIS, I personally can’t wait to see what could actually take the fight “up a notch”.
Polls over the last week have seen Trump collapsing in crucial swing states with the numbers suggesting that Clinton has significant enough leads in enough states to win the Presidency, even if Trump turns things around in powerhouse states like Florida and Ohio.
It ain’t over until the fat balding tangerine sings, though. This is the country that elected George W Bush twice after all…and at least once legitimately.
I’m going to briefly mention the Olympics despite promising myself I wouldn’t. Not because I don’t enjoy the Olympics, because I do. It’s just completely unpatriotic to throw too much light at how subpar our performance has been – except for (fellow) South Australian Kyle Chalmers, who has been an absolute legend.
American 12-time Olympic medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte has found himself in hot water this week as it was revealed by Brazilian authorities that his dramatic story of being robbed at gunpoint last week was total and utter BS.
Police have charged Lochte and his teammate James Feigen with making a false report as they discovered CCTV footage that suggests the gunpoint robbery story was simply concocted to cover up a good old fashioned debaucherous night on the town that ended with a brawl at a service station.
Lochte is yet to make a public statement retracting or clarifying his version of events, however both swimmers have given fresh statements to Brazilian police to enable them to return to the US. The United States Olympic Committee have issued a formal public apology to the people of Brazil and its Government for the actions of Lochte and Feigan which seems to suggest that the Brazilian authorities’ position is accurate.
The incident does make me wonder whether Lochte’s cameo in 30 Rock was a little less satirical than first thought.
An Australian woman and her British travelling companion have been arrested in Bali following an incident in Kuta this week which saw a local police officer killed during a late-night altercation on the beach.
Sara Connor from Byron Bay and David Taylor from England were listed as persons of interest following the discovery of Wayan Sudarsa at the popular tourist destination due to Connor’s handbag, arm card and drivers license being discovered not too far from the body.
The pair turned themselves in at the Australian Consulate in Denpasar after Connor’s name and photo were released to media and immigration officials to prevent her leaving the country before talking to authorities. Another man, Thomas Schon was initially named as Connor’s travel companion and had his photograph and details circulated, however it was later revealed that police had released the wrong name. Mr Schon has confirmed that he knew Ms Connor when he lived in Australia, however, he has never been to Bali in his life and is now investigating his legal options.
The day after their arrest, police took them to the scene of the crime where they confirmed that they had been on the night of the murder; they did not, however, admit to any involvement. Connor told authorities that she and Taylor had gone down to the beach to be “intimate” and that she had lost her handbag as a result. She also told authorities that she was drunk and couldn’t remember much of the evening.
Witnesses claim to have seen someone matching Taylor’s description covered in sand and with blood on his clothes at the scene, and police have also reportedly found blood on a scooter rented by Taylor as well as in his room at the Kubu Kauh Beach Inn, however no forensic evidence is available yet to determine who the blood belonged to. Police have also reported that both Taylor and Connor had wounds on their hands when they turned themselves in.
The crime itself appears to have been quite brutal with the autopsy revealing that the victim had 17 open wounds on his head and a total of 42 injuries on his body, including defensive wounds on his hands. A broken beer bottle was found near the scene and is suspected of being the murder weapon.
Connor’s friends and family back home in Australia have expressed shock and suggested that any involvement would be completely out of character for the mother of two. Police have 24 hours to declare whether the pair will be charged following further interrogation in the presence of a lawyer and a translator.
A little closer to home, the discovery of an international porn site targeting Australian school girls has sent shockwaves through the community. The site, which has reportedly since been taken down, contained thousands of images of nudity and sex acts including those of underage girls.
The site reportedly contained “targets”, both individuals and schools, posted by users with the sharing of nude or explicit photographs of one of the targets being considered a “win”.
Many young women were shocked to discover their names being listed on the site and were even more shocked when they discovered photographs of themselves, previously thought private, being traded around amongst the users. The photos were reportedly consensually shared with ex-partners or friends however there were also reports of direct thefts of the material in some cases. Some of the victims have logged on to the site to plea for the removal of the offending material but have been met with ridicule and slut shaming.
The site was reportedly established in December last year however was believed to be hosted overseas, making it impossible for Australian authorities to compel its removal. That doesn’t prevent authorities for prosecuting anyone who contributed to the sharing from Australia, though, which is where they will likely set their sites now.
One victim is believed to have taken matters into her own hands and directly contacted the site’s registrar pointing out that a nude photo of her contained within the site was taken when she was 15, which may have resulted in the site being brought down.
Unfortunately, the small victory after the event will likely be short lived as the photos contained on the site have been heavily traded and will likely surface somewhere else down the track. A very real and stark reminder to everyone that nothing you put on the Internet can ever really be deleted…
Wacky and wonderful
A father in Nebraska got a little more than he bargained for this week following a seemingly innocent afternoon snack. He had been unloading groceries from his car and found some brownies which had mistakenly been left there by his adult children. Assuming that they were regular, run of the mill sugar-filled brownies, he scoffed four of them down.
As I’m sure you’ve already guessed, the brownies in question had a secret ingredient. The man started having heightened anxiety (as you would after four pot brownies). One of the children returned home and advised that he was “pretty sure” they only had pot in them and quickly told police that they belonged to his siblings…of course.
Paramedics arrived and confirmed the man was fine but apparently his behaviour was a little off, at one point crawling on the floor and calling the family cat a bitch. He declined to be taken to a hospital; only so he could go to Maccas, one assumes.
While we’re in Nebraska, a man from Lincoln was arrested this week for indecent exposure in the car park of a convenience store. Twenty-one year old Nathan Grimes was taken into custody following a report from a local woman who noticed him masturbating inside his white Mazda just before 7am.
Apparently it wasn’t his first time; another woman had made a similar report a week earlier. Both women managed to provide a detailed description of Grimes as well as the numberplate of his car, leading police straight to him.
Grimes denied the offence, however, telling officers that he was just mixing his protein shake. Well…I suppose he wa…nah, I can’t.
That’s it from me. Have a cracking week, TBSers!