Squiz Today / 10 December 2018

Squiz Today – Monday, 10 December


“Make better choices.”

What else can you say to a seal with an eel stuck up its nose?


As protestors across France clashed with police during another weekend of violence, US President Donald Trump linked the demonstrations to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. The climate change deal is also the subject of big United Nations’ sponsored talks in Poland, which have hit a spot of bother.

Okey dokey. About 1,200 of the estimated 125,000 protestors nationwide were taken into custody as demonstrations turned violent on Saturday. Police in Paris fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd in an attempt to get things under control. What started as a ‘yellow vest’ movement against a carbon tax on fuel designed to curb climate change (which was put on warming polar ice last week) has turned into anti-government demonstrations directed at President Emmanuel Macron and what critics say is his elitist agenda. Trump’s Twitter thumbs weighed in saying the protests were about measures to mitigate climate change. “People do not want to pay large sums of money, much to third world countries (that are questionably run), in order to maybe protect the environment.” So are the protests about climate change? Some say yeah, others nah.

Otherwise known as the COP24 Summit… One week in and the meeting that’s trying to get agreement on how to enforce the Paris Climate Agreement’s goals to limit global warming hit a snag yesterday. A landmark report (you know, the one from a couple of months ago that said we’re pretty much stuffed) was not officially ‘welcomed’ by the US, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Those nations wanted the conference to ‘note' it. Why does that matter? Pundits say it doesn’t bode well for the pointy-end talks (which include our Environment Minister Melissa Price) this week when the sustainably sourced rubber hits the road.


Will PM Scott Morrison and the Coalition have a better week? It's not started well… There’s Newspoll for a start. While the Coalition’s primary vote edged up a point to trail Labor 35:41, the two-party preferred measure remains the same with the Coalition on 45 to Labor’s 55. Morrison dropped in the preferred PM stakes but still leads Labor leader Bill Shorten on 44:36. The upside? It’s the last Newspoll of the year…

We’re talking about Toyah Cordingley, the 24yo whose body was found on Wangetti Beach (north of Cairns) in October after she was attacked and killed while taking her dog for a walk. Over the weekend, Seven News and the Sunday Mail in Brissie (paywall) reported that a male nurse was the key suspect, and he'd fled to India the day after the attack. Seven said they’d sat on the story for two weeks waiting for police to tell her family. Wrong, said her stepfather, the family had not been told. Police said the reports could jeopardise the investigation and they had nothing more to add.

President Trump yesterday announced his chief-of-staff John Kelly is leaving the White House. Speculation quickly moved on to who would replace him with Vice President Mike Pence’s 36yo chief Nick Ayres said to be the favourite. Reports say Kelly’s political tin ear had him on the outer with Trump for months, and with the operation gearing up to contest the 2020 presidential election, it was his time to go. No doubt Kelly’s hoping his former boss is nicer to him than other Team Trump alumni… (spoiler: the term ‘dumb as a rock' was used).

Talks to end the four-year civil war in Yemen have made some progress. The first big meeting in a couple of years has focused on reopening the airport in the capital of Sanaa (which would help to get much-needed supplies in), and a prisoner swap. The war has led to what's considered the world's most critical humanitarian disaster with 22 million of the country’s 29 million in need of aid. The UN has down-talked the chances of progress towards an ultimate settlement of the conflict. And as if to underline that point, the US yesterday announced it plans on continuing to support the Saudi-backed Sunnis as a way of keeping a check on Iran-aligned Houthis. A good cheat-sheet on how this all started is here.

She was Russia’s most famous human rights activist and dissident, and she died at 91yo – an incredible innings for someone in her line of work… Alexeyeva campaigned for democratic rights and the release of political prisoners since the 60s. She was forced into exile in America in 1977 and returned to Russia in 1993 after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Alexeyeva navigated a tricky relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Her criticism tempered his early support, but she was effective in getting Putin to water down some heavy-handed proposals, and she received a visit from him last year for her 90th birthday. Friends said she would be remembered as determined and optimistic.

We have a feeling there might be a few of these in the next couple of weeks… Behold:

• The Grammy Awards nominations for the best in music. Names to drop: Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Post Malone, Cardi B and Lady Gaga. Name dropped: Taylor Swift. The full list of noms is here.

(And while we have you on awards… Comedian Kevin Hart has pulled out of hosting next year’s Oscars over some unsavoury tweets from almost a decade ago. He arrived in Brisbane yesterday to start an Aussie tour.)

• Youtube’s top 10 vids of 2018. Because who doesn’t need to look busy while stationed at their computer on a Monday…

• And CNN’s pictures of the year.

You're welcome.


ABS Data Releases - Housing Finance, October; Building Approvals, October; Livestock and Meat, October

Start of a big UN conference on migration and refugees (other wise known as the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration) - Marrakech, Morocco (on until 11 December)

Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies

UN Human Rights Day (marking the 70th anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights in 1948)

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