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Friday, 24 May 2019
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INDIA DECIDES WHILE THE UK TEETERS
India’s massive elections, where 600 million people voted, has seen overwhelming support for the return of PM Narendra Modi and his National Democratic Alliance for a second term. Modi’s side is expected to win 350 seats in the 543-member lower house of India’s parliament. His closest rivals, the Congress Party, have ended up with fewer than 60 seats.
AND THIS IS SIGNIFICANT WHY?
• This election will probably be referenced as part of a broader trend in some parts of the world towards electing ‘strongmen’ with nationalistic agendas. Modi is the leader of the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party.
• Unashamedly for the Hindu majority, the spiritual Modi focused on India’s economy (even though he’s not delivered the progress he’d promised), taken a hard line against neighbour Pakistan, and delivered on important social programs, like building almost 100 million toilets.
• And why is any of this important? Well, India is the world’s largest democracy, it’s soon to overtake China with the world’s largest population, and it has nuclear weapons. So there’s that…
AND WHAT’S THAT ABOUT THE UK?
UK PM Theresa May is under pressure to resign, and some reports say she’s expected to go within days. More of her supporters have abandoned her in what some have called the most disastrous 24-hours in her prime ministership. Which is saying something… The new sticking point is her latest plan to get Brexit through the parliament – a proposal from May that London’s Telegraph said rendered her “desperate, deluded, doomed”. May has delayed the publication of the new bill to get more feedback from her inner circle. Watch this space…
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RUSH’S PAYOUT A RECORD
Oscar-winning actor Geoffrey Rush has claimed an Aussie record he’d probably prefer to have left to someone else… He is set to receive the largest defamation payout made to anyone in Oz after The Daily Telegraphagreed to pay the actor almost $2 million for lost earnings, on top of an $850,000 payout. Reports say Rush had previously offered to settle for $50,000 plus costs and an apology. While the paper’s owner News Corp agreed to the figure, it is appealing the finding in Rush’s favour. Rush brought defamation proceedings against the Tele when it said he’d behaved inappropriately towards a co-star in a Sydney Theatre Company production, Eryn Jean Norvill.
TOP HORSE OWNER TANGLED IN DRUGS CHARGES
Racehorse owner and former baggage handler Damion Flower was arrested at his south-western Sydney home on Wednesday, taken into custody and charged with importing a commercial quantity of cocaine. Police allege that the cocaine was smuggled into Australia on flights from South Africa enabled by a Qantas baggage handler who was also charged. Police allegedly seized $8 million in cash and 28kg of the drug in the raids. Flower’s best known gee-gee is Snitzel, a big race winner turned super stud.
GRINDING TO THE END OF THE COUNT
It looks like the Coalition will end up with 78 seats in the House of Reps – two more than required to hit a majority. Counting continues in Lilley (Qld) and Cowan (WA) where Labor is ahead, and Macquarie in Sydney’s west where the Liberals are ahead by just 131 votes. Meanwhile, Anthony Albanese is set to be elected Labor leader unopposed with Queenslander Jim Chalmers opting out of a run. And for political news aficionados, there’s speculation Sky News’ David Speers is heading to the ABC to front Insiders when Barrie Cassidy moves on next month.
MEET ABE SHINZO
The headline isn’t a typo – honest. The Japanese prime minister formerly known as Shinzo Abe will go by a new name. Which is to say the Japanese Government has clarified that we Westerners have had his name wrong all along. In line with other Asian countries, the correct way to reference his full name is the last name first – just like China’s Xi Jinping and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in. We won’t have to wait long to see if it’s going to stick. US President Donald Trump has walked out of the White House leaving the Democrats’ congressional leaders in his wake and will arrive in Japan for a four-day state visit tomorrow.
BABY IT’S COLD INSIDE
Do you work better feeling a bit chilly or a bit warm? The correct answer is ‘with a glass of wine in hand’, but back to the main point of this story… A study has found that the battle between Mars and Venus extends to the air conditioning controls of your workplace with men preferring the temperature be set to the cool end of the scale, so they feel comfortable in year-round pants/suits/ties etc. Meanwhile, women are more comfortable and perform better in a warmer environment. In fact, the pick-up of women’s performance in warmer temperatures was “significantly larger” than the decrease in male performance. Let the battle for the thermostat commence…
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
Advertising is changing in interesting ways. This campaign by a fancy shoe brand was one of the best we’ve seen for a while.
Twitter’s been a shouty(er) place over the past week with all sorts of feelings about the federal election result. This thread made it worth opening the app. It’s long but thrilling. And off the back of it, the author has been approached to turn it into a film.
Confession time – we really need to tidy up our nutritional intake. A regular croissant has snuck into the morning routine. And we’ve gone days without eating anything green. But they’re things to tackle on Sunday for a fresh start next week… On Saturday we’re making Jill Dupleix’s take on spag bol. It looks super fancy/delish.
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ABS Data Release – National Health Survey: Health Literacy, 2018
Start of Vivid Sydney (on until 15 June)
200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth (1819)
US President Donald Trump arrives in Japan for a four-day visit
Salvation Army Red Shield Doorknock (on Saturday and Sunday)
National Sorry Day in recognition of members of the Stolen Generations
Tennis – Start of the French Open
Start of Food Allergy Week (on until 1 June)
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