Twilight saga conclusion honoured as worst film of 2012? - 10 ThingsIt's Thursday, you're possibly flagging a little ahead of the weekend, so let's start the news with a good solid dose of outraged adrenalin: the lawyer representing three of the men charged with the gang rape and murder of a still-unnamed female student in New Delhi is arguing that his clients are not guilty and that a "respected lady" would never be raped - effectively arguing that she must have deserved it, because if she hadn't it wouldn't have happened. It echoes calls by religious leaders that the student shouldn't have been out with a male companion in the first place (who was savagely beaten, incidentally - presumably because he couldn't even avoid being savagely beaten and therefore totally deserved it) and therefore brought it on herself. "Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady," lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma told reporters at a cafe over a nice pro-rape coffee. "Even an underworld don would not like to touch a girl with respect". More details of the case have emerged, including that the bus was not an actual legitimate public transport service but a private vehicle operating illegally, had curtains and tinted windows and picked the couple up as they sought to get home from the movies, suggesting that this was less a form of public transport and more a travelling rapemobile - and one of the three men Sharma is representing is Ram Singh, the busdriver and alleged ringleader. So, to recap: a lawyer is arguing that a woman deserved to be raped and murdered because otherwise she wouldn't have been able to have been tricked into getting onto a fake bus deliberately designed to trap women for the purpose of gang raping them. You're wide awake now, right?
Then again, dames are all the same, right? That's what former (and let's be honest, almost certainly future) Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reckons, and it's because of those feminist bitches that totally run the Italian judiciary that the billionaire media magnate and corruption enthusiast has been forced to pay millions to his ex-wife in a divorce settlement (not that, as he admits, he's actually done so - he's apparently €72m behind at the moment). The televised claim that he's the victim of a feminist cabal of vindictive women (who probably are just jealous that he doesn't want to bed them, right?) has led senior judges in Milan to make a public statement that, in effect, Berlusconi's a crazy person. He's currently preparing for another run at the top office, even as he gets ready for next month's court ruling regarding sex with an underage Moroccan girl and of attempting to bribe her way out of a charge of theft.
Insult, meet injury: Microsoft's Californian research and development centre was burgled over the Xmas break, with the thieves only stealing the iPads. Yep, the only thing that was stolen from Microsoft was their Apple products. Oooooh, that's got to sting.
It took three years and 100+ dives, but the elusive giant squid has been filmed for the first time swimming free in the ocean. We've seen dead ones but this is the first time that the mighty beast has been filmed just squidding it up - the three metre long creature had seemingly lost its two long feeding tentacles (which would have added an extra four metres to its length) but was filmed feeding on a smaller squid in this amazing footage was the result of a joint project between Japan's public broadcaster HPK and the Discovery Channel. Suggestions that this is the fruits of a secret international anti-Kraken response team couldn't be confirmed at press time.
Looking for a job in Australia? Well, the news isn't great: job vacancies are at their lowest in 30 years. To be fair, it's January and there's usually a bit of a slump in job ads at the beginning of the year since places are, y'know, shut; but even so, there's an 8% slide since this time last year. It's mainly the effect of cuts to the public service are being felt in NSW, Victoria and QLD as State Governments battle to reconcile the completely irreconcilable conflict between "cut costs" and "don't contribute to local unemployment". Luckily services to the public are never affected by not having enough people to provide them, right? Right?
The Jason Segal-penned Muppets film was, let's be honest, pretty great; and now it appears that the second one will possibly be even more pretty greater with rumours that Tina Fey will be joining Ricky Gervais in the European-based sequel - which is probably not a reboot of The Great Muppet Caper, but if it is it better have Charles Grodin in it again. That man lights up the screen.
Obama's seemingly decided that he's just going to get everything out of the way during his final presidential term: having instituted universal health care and now tackling the seemingly impossible issue of gun control, there are suggestions that he's going to address the US's absolute failure to do anything about climate change. US environmental groups claim that the White House are looking to convene a bipartisan summit to address the issue, which suggests - if true - that Obama is less a president and more some sort of magical superhero or a crazy person who just can't stop banging his head against a wall.
As reported a few days back, Venezuela's president Hugo Chávez is perfectly fine and totally not dying of cancer and there's nothing to worry about and kittens and puppies and he isn't healthy enough to attend his own inauguration as is mandated by the constitution but hey, that's just a formality and there's no possibility of creating a dangerous power vacuum in the volatile country. Nothing to worry about. The opposition Justice First party are naturally using this as an opportunity to point out that none of them are dying of cancer in a Cuban hospital, which gives them an edge in terms of providing national leadership, with international observers nervously eying off the military in case they all suddenly announce that they're just popping off down the shops for a bit and totally not orchestrating a coup. One to watch, basically.
Can Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 sweep this year's Razzies? It's the most nominated film in this year's Golden Raspberries, beating out the deserving likes of Battleship and That's My Boy for the worst film of 2012, with 11 possible gongs. Sadly this merely allows it to tie with last year's comprehensively turdish Adam Sandler comedy Jack & Jill, which is an achievement in itself. But no matter who wins, nominees, please remember: you're all losers.
And finally, some international recognition for Sydney 2012: you're taking over the world! Now, before the O'Farrell government start cooking up celebratory ad campaigns around this enormous achievement, it's worth adding that Sydney 2012 is a highly contagious strain of novovirus, which is at epidemic levels in a number of countries in the current northern hemispherical winter. 1.9 million people are currently vomiting in the UK alone in tribute to our plucky little strain of the communicable disease - and that's something we can all be proud of. Also, we should maybe wash our hands a bit more.
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