The News July 31-August 5: Shock In The Northern Territory

Stories of the Week

Trump goes after the wrong family. At the Democratic National Convention, Khizr and Ghazala Khan shared the stage, while the former took Donald Trump to task for his Islamophobic rhetoric. The Khans lost their son, an American soldier, in 2004 during his service in Iraq. Trump immediately targeted the family, a move that backfired -- badly.

Also re TrumpBeat -- sorry, Paul Ryan and John McCain. Also, Canada thinks he might have some serious problems, mentally speaking.

NYT on the horror of Trump rallies, uncensored.

Pointless Iran drama. The Wall Street Journal published a questionable article mid-week, essentially alleging that the US paid Iran to release detained Americans. In actuality, the payment was long overdue to Iran (like, shah-era levels of overdue), and as Iran might have taken the case to a higher authority in order to get its money, the US was looking to get the transaction over with. Unfortunately, it coincided with the release of the Americans. Terrible PR move. One Donald Trump is obviously delighted about. 

Northern Territory horrors. The Royal Commission into the abuse of indigenous Australian teenagers in the Northern Territory has only just begun, but there's already been one casualty -- Brian Martin, the head of the Commission, resigned in under a week. Backlash over this cartoon has also hit the spotlight. The cartoon depicts aboriginal Australians in a problematic and deeply racist light. 

Australia's Northern Territory (GothPhil - Flickr)

Australia's Northern Territory (GothPhil - Flickr)


Blues Buzz


Regional Updates

South Asia:

  • Flooding in India has killed over 100 people and forced around a million into relief camps.
  • Rescuing Kaziranga's flood-hit wildlife, in photos.
  • Nepal's parliament has elected a former Communist rebel leader as its head.
  • Behind the gates of Pakistan's elite.
  • Foreign tourists traveling in western Afghanistan were attacked and injured by the Taliban, though none were killed.

Southeast & East Asia:

  • Tokyo elected its first female governor. 
  • China's straddling bus, meant to go over traffic, is looking more and more like a reality.
  • A North Korean missile landed in (or near) Japanese waters.
  • The new leader of the Philippines is overseeing (from a distance) the mass-murder of anyone linked to drugs within the country.
  • Thailand is preparing to vote on a new draft constitution.

Europe & Eurasia:

Middle East & North Africa:

Sub-Saharan Africa:


  • Brazilian prosecutors formally charged former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the country's escalating Petrobas scandal; he will face a trial at a later date.
  • Race relations in Brazil will echo through the Olympics.
  • Venezeula's slow march towards collapse continues, as food shortages grow. President Nicolas Maduro has ordered forced 60-day conscriptions requiring Venezuelans to work in farms in order to generate enough food. Will it work? Probably no.
  • Oh, to be a Canadian.
  • Zika is in the US, and spreading.
  • The 50th anniversary of a shooting rampage at the University of Texas at Austin was marked by a dark turn of events: the legalization of campus carry, which will see many students armed with guns. 
  • DNC drama.
  • The Obama administration commuted the sentences of 214 inmates.
  • 16 people died after a hot air balloon crashed in Lockhart, Texas.
  • The fight over the death penalty may be waged over (of all people) Dylann Roof.


  • Same-sex marriage in Australia has become quite the drama.
  • A new report indicates that refugees are being held against their will on the island of Nauru. The situation has become so appalling that human rights organizations around the world are growing concerned.
  • New Zealand was upset by the US Women's National Team in soccer/football for the opening of the Olympics.

Quote of the Week:

I have thought about it, but—this is an embarrassing confession—I don’t have very many black friends. I have never been in love with a black woman. I feel like if I had, I might dare.
[I adjust the microphone, which he stares at for a moment.] Good, good, good. The mic. Got the mic pointed toward me. I am doing all the talking here. [Pauses.] -- Jonathan Franzen has hit peak Franzen, and he did it during a Slate interview

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