BY THE BULLSH!T TEAM
It’s been an interesting week, and we’ve been lax on our wrap ups. There’s a lot going on in the world at the moment, so you’re excused if you don’t know everything. That’s why we’re here. We have four news pieces that may have just slipped past you this week.
So grab a pen and paper, there will be a quiz later.
ACT makes waves – and not in Lake Burley Griffin
This week, the ACT Government has announced that it will take the marriage equality bill to the Spring session of the Territory Assembly.
Recent census data has shown that the nation’s capital territory has the highest amount of same-sex couples, inspiring the local government to take a bold step forward and become the first Australian territory to make the issue a priority in the assembly.
This move follows Tasmania’s attempt to pass same-sex legislation last year, which lucked out by a mere two votes.
Does this mean that the ACT is finally being the one to start a new trend? This may be the best thing to put Canberra on the map, maybe even enough to make the eternal fight between Sydney and Melbourne shut up for a while.
Rowling re-enters headlines
Harry Potter fans had reason to celebrate this week, with author JK Rowling announcing that she’s reuniting with Warner Brothers to make her screenwriting debut – on a very exciting new project. The studio is prepping a series of films based on the adventures of Newt Scamander, fictional author of the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – a prescribed textbook for Hogwarts students, and one Rowling herself published for charity in the early noughties.
The new series is said to be set predominantly in 1920’s New York, giving fans the chance to see Rowling’s rich and diverse world like they never have before. And make frequent references to the Great Gatsby. Perhaps these fantastic beasts are in West Egg?
Atheism receives the papal seal of approval, Vatican pissed
Pope Francis is once again in hot water for suggesting atheists should “abide by their own conscience.” The Vatican – the governing body of the Catholic Church – quickly clarified the comments that appeared in Italian newspaper La Repubblica, claiming that Pope Francis is “still a conservative,” albeit an understanding one.
This isn’t the first time the Vatican has sought to censor its leader, after it denied Pope Francis’ claims in May that non-believers could go to heaven. While it is still early days for the Francis era, which began last March, the conflicting messages may prove to create further divisions of belief within the Catholic Church, which is already fragmenting in increasingly secular nations such as Australia.
US and Russia agreement reached, Syria to surrender chemical weapons
After the news broke that Syrian authorities were utilising chemical weapons against rebel forces, also killing some 1500 civilians, the two countries that have butted heads for months, Russia and the United States, have come to an agreement
The two countries have agreed that all of Syria’s chemical weapons are to be handed over to international control, where they will be destroyed within 40 weeks. In association with this agreement, Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad are to present a detailed list of all weaponry in their possession. The agreement also states that all production of chemical weaponry is to cease by November.
Although this agreement has been reached by the US and Russia, the US government still stipulates that if diplomacy is not reached, a strike will ensue from US forces.
NBN, we hardly knew ye
One week into the Abbott government, and one of the elections most contentious issues – the National Broadband Network, continued its unfortunate journey towards the trashpile. Malcolm Turnbull, widely believed to be appointed as Minister for Communication next week, gave what has rapidly become one of change.org’s biggest ever petitions – calling for the government to display basic common sense and not go ahead with plans to scrap the network that would seek to bring Australia up to speed with the rest of the developed world – not push us back several years.
Turnbull noted that “The promoters of this petition apparently believe that we should ignore the lengthy public debate on the NBN that preceded the election and also ignore the election result. We should within days of the election walk away from one of our most well debated, well understood and prominent policies. Democracy? I don’t think so”.
Progressive Australians anxiously await their first opportunity to say “I told you so”.