Squiz Today / 18 October 2019

Squiz Today – Friday, 18 October


"I love the fact people have an opinion about it.”

Said National Gallery director Nick Mitzevich of the controversial tribute to Canberra that has been donated to the nation. Described by the French as a “giant turtle with breasts,” welcome home to Canberra, Skywhale


The UK and European Union have agreed on a Brexit deal. That makes a 31 October departure possible - if it gets through the UK Parliament…

It’s true. UK PM Boris Johnson and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker made the deal before the start of a summit of European leaders overnight with the pair calling the new arrangement “fair”. Most of it is the same deal made by former PM Theresa May - that is, the UK will abide by EU rules until the end of 2020, pay an estimated £33 billion exit bill, and guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, and vice versa. What’s changed is the treatment of the Irish border with Northern Ireland to remain an entry point into the EU's customs zone.

Johnson returns for a special Saturday session of Parliament to vote on the deal. It's another big hurdle to jump with Johnson's governing partner, the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland, not on board with the new border arrangement. It says the deal Johnson’s done threatens Northern Ireland’s “economic and constitutional” standing in the UK. So, with the 320 votes Johnson requires to get the deal through very hard to come by (note: there are just 287 Team Johnson/Conservative MPs), it isn’t over yet. Not by a long shot…

Need a refresher on some Brexit basics? There’s a Squiz Shortcut for that…



In breaking news this morning, US Vice President Mike Pence has negotiated a ceasefire deal with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Pence is in Ankara for emergency meetings with Erdogan where he announced that all Turkish military operations would pause for five days to allow Kurdish fighters along the Syrian border to pull back. And when the Kurds withdraw from a 30km ‘safe zone’, the Turkish military operation would end. Pence said US forces have already begun the work to help Kurdish fighters “disengage”.

And if you want to quickly get across the background to that story, we have a Squiz Shortcut on America, Turkey and the Syrian Kurds.


Authorities from 12 countries arrested 338 people yesterday as the net closed around users of South Korean-based child pornography site Welcome To Video. Reports say charges were laid against several Australians, but no details have been reported. The site, which was shut down in March last year, could be accessed on the dark web and gave users access to 250,000 gruesome videos in exchange for bitcoin. The site’s operator, South Korean Jong Woo Son, is already in prison. The investigation has led to the rescue of 23 children who were being abused by users of the site, but many children are yet to be identified.


NETFLIX ON THE UP - With a bunch of new streaming services coming online, investors have been wondering how the incumbent Netflix will fare. But they liked what they heard yesterday. In the July to September quarter, Netflix added 6.7 million new subscribers, bringing its total to 153 million worldwide. That delivered a profit of US$665 million off US$5.2 billion in revenue.

AND SO IS CANVA - The Aussie design company has reached a market valuation of A$5.2 billion. The company, led by co-founder and CEO Melanie Perkins, is now one of the most valuable female-led tech startups in the world. And she has big plans for its future

ZUCKERBERG ON FREE SPEECH - Promising an “unfiltered take” on free speech, Facebook founder/CEO Mark Zuckerberg has delivered a 45-minute speech on "giving people voice" in the internet age. His basic premise is Facebook has two roles: "to remove content when it could cause real danger as effectively as we can, and to fight to uphold as wide a definition of freedom of expression as possible”.


Australia’s unemployment rate for September fell a smidge (which is the technical term for 0.1%) to 5.2%, according to official figures released yesterday. The result clocked a record 36 consecutive months of jobs growth. The Reserve Bank, which is watching the metric closely, is now unlikely to drop interest rates even lower next month, analysts reckon. That’s because it thinks strong wages growth (which we’ll then spend, generating economic activity) will come when the jobless rate falls below 4.5% - so it’s heading in the right direction. The results come as new research from Anglicare revealed there are 19 applications for every entry-level job in Australia.


The Rugby World Cup’s greatest rivals - the Wallabies and England - will go head-to-head in tomorrow’s quarter-final match in Oita, Japan. The teams have encountered each other in six out of eight previous tournaments with the ledger square at three wins each. Who's looking good this time around? Well, England has played well so far and had a spell last weekend when their game was cancelled due to Typhoon Hagibis. Commentators say the Wallabies have battled harder to reach this stage. And if what’s happening on the field isn’t enough, the teams’ coaches have a joint history and a lot at stake… For a complete rundown of this weekend's quarter-finals, this is a good guide.


Slow walkers look older than their age and have smaller brains. That’s not us being deliberately unpleasant - it’s science. Apparently how fast you walk in your 40s is a good indicator of what your ageing process will be like. Time to get some pep in our step…

Have you been wondering what you should do with your spare crochet squares? Wonder no more

And if you’re as into the New York Times’ Cooking site as we are, you’ll be all over this … This chicken recipe is all they can talk about at the moment (note: that link is from another site, but if you have a subscription to Cooking, you can check it out here).


7.00am (AEDT) - Reserve Bank Governor Philip Low to speak at the ‘Governor Talk’ event at the International Monetary Fund - Washington DC

Start of the inaugural Rugby League World Cup 9s - Bankwest Stadium, Sydney (on for two days)

World Menopause Day

Alaska Day (marking the anniversary of the US taking possession of the territory after purchasing it from Russia)

4.15pm (AEDT) - Horse Racing - The Everest - Royal Randwick, Sydney

6.15pm (AEDT) - Rugby World Cup Quarter Final - Wallabies v England - Oita, Japan

Start of Children’s Week

Garage Sale Trail

1.00pm (AEDT) - Constellation Cup Netball  - Aussie Diamonds v NZ Silver Ferns - Sydney

Indonesian President Joko Widodo inaugurated for a second term

Swiss elections

World Osteoporosis Day

World Statistics Day

Anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Opera House by Queen Elizabeth II (1973)

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