Aaaahhh, what an eventful news-week this has been. As I embark on a short work experience stint at Australian news channel SBS this Monday (and that’s “Special Broadcasting Service” to you) it seems an appropriate time to lay the month bare.
- Horse meat sucks apparently, or at least that’s what UK school children discovered this month. Their school pies were full of the stuff because of a meat misrepresentation scandal where Finland (yes, stringent, clinical Finland) dropped the proverbial ball. The scandal has caused a ripple of unease and mistrust across European beef consumption. It’s an economic blow that European economies did not need.
- Barack Obama’s State of the Union address includes three major statements. He says that the time has come for “comprehensive immigration reform,” that the minimum wage should be raised, and that Congress must legislate against “massive gun magazines” on the streets. The speech is perceived as aggressively liberal by some Republican conservatives. On gun reform especially, Obama insists that people “deserve a vote” of Congress.
- Australian-Israeli Ben Zygier, a former Mossad spy, is found dead in an Israeli prison cell. Was it suicide, as some claim? and, this is the real question, what could he have done to have so earned the displeasure of the Israeli secret services? Ben Zygier seemed so careful and precise, did he take some chances? Australian foreign minister Bob Carr (earnestly) asserts that the Australian Government did know of Zygier’s imprisonment after all, which reveals the greater insecurity that “we don’t know things”
Also in that year, Mr Zygier angrily denies claims he is working for Israeli spy agency Mossad when approached by a reporter.
“Who the f–k are you?” an incredulous Mr Zygier told Fairfax’s then Middle East correspondent, Jason Koutsoukis. “What is this total bullshit you are telling me?” (full story in SBS world news)
- Oh, and the push for constitutional recognition of Australian Aboriginals (I know, I can’t believe that hasn’t happened yet either) has become topical. Here’s former PM Kevin Rudd giving his two cents worth. Also, the Pope has resigned for the first time in 600 years.
Happy February! Let’s see if it can outdo itself on the news-front yet!