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Feelings run high in world hotspots

Opinion Piece

New Zealanders who have been distracted by the twists and turns of a strange national election will have found little to comfort themselves on the world scene in the week just ending.

US President Donald Trump made a bellicose speech in his first address to the United Nations general assembly, coming close to matching Nikita Kruschev’s famous shoe banging effort of the 60s. Trump disappointed anybody hoping for a statesmanlike performance by letting fly at two of his favourite targets, North Korea and Iran.

His comment that the US would totally destroy North Korea if it posed a threat to it or its allies was enough to send more chills down the spine of the rest of the world. Any doubts that he had missed a chance to calm the situation were removed by equally strong responses from the two so-called rogue states.

North Korea’s foreign minister called Trump a barking dog while Iran’s Hassan Rouhani described him as a rogue newcomer.

Elsewhere with a devastating earthquake in Mexico and another hurricane battering the Americas there was little on the world scene to take the weight off people’s minds.

One interesting situation is same-sex marriage in Australia in which our neighbours are trying to catch up with us with a referendum being held by postal vote. Feelings are high — one unfortunate Christian was sacked from her job for posting that she could not vote for same-sex marriage.

With the All Blacks overseas, sporting attention will turn to Joseph Parker’s defence of his version of the heavyweight boxing title in Manchester against Hughie Fury. If the bout lives up to the foul-mouthed confrontation between Parker’s promoter David Higgins and Hughie’s father Peter it will be well worth watching.

It is also on Sunday morning New Zealand time when the election result will, hopefully, be known. Whatever the result of the election or the fight, the sun will come up, the birds will sing and the start of daylight savings will herald a long-awaited real spring for us all. Just don’t forget to check your smoke alarm.