Squiz Today / 15 October 2018

Squiz Today – Monday, 15 October


“Who did this?!”

Some scallywag put googly eyes on a statue of American Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene, and the local council is not happy. You could say he was vandal-eyes’d…


Saudi Arabia is coming under international pressure for its alleged role in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudi citizen visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey almost two weeks ago to obtain a document so he could marry his Turkish fiancé the next day. He hasn't been seen since.

Yes, John Farnham, that’s right.

• Following criticism that America’s been too soft on its ally Saudi Arabia, US President Donald Trump yesterday issued his strongest rebuke yet saying he “would be very upset and angry” and there would be “severe punishment” if the oil-rich kingdom were proven to be involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

• Turkey, which already had problems with Saudi Arabia, released American Pastor Andrew Brunson who served two years in prison for his alleged role in a coup against President Erdogan. Trump said the timing is a coincidence, but others say Turkey could be looking to use the Khashoggi crisis to forge closer links with the US.

• Others are distancing themselves from Saudi Arabia. The UK might pull out of a big conference. Businessman Sir Richard Branson has halted investment talks. Even Hollywood is baulking

No. But Turkish media reported that Khashoggi recorded his interrogation, torture and murder on his Apple watch and that the audio file was sent to his phone, which was in his fiancé’s possession, and to iCloud. Experts say that's unlikely, and if there are audio files, it's probably because the Turkish government has bugged the consulate. The Saudi government continues to deny any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance and said it rejected the political threats that are coming its way.


Let’s break it down:

Newspoll time and Coalition PM Scott Morrison has clawed back another point in the two-party preferred race against Bill Shorten’s Labor but is still trailing 47:53. But when it comes to handling the economy, cost of living and delivering tax cuts, Morrison came out ahead of Shorten.

A Fairfax-Ipsos poll this morning says Labor has a 55:45 two-party preferred lead over the Coalition.

• With our pollies returning to Canberra for another week of parliamentary sittings, bringing forward tax cuts for small businesses is on the agenda with Labor in support of the government’s proposal. And Morrison said he would move to protect gay kids from being expelled from religious schools – something Aussies overwhelmingly support, according to the Fairfax-Ipsos poll.

It’ll be a big week with just one thing in mind – the Wentworth byelection on Saturday which is looking tighter-than-your-stingy-uncle.

According to that reliable news source – the Taliban – its leaders met with American officials on Friday to discuss the end of America's occupation and bringing an end to the conflict in Afghanistan. The US hasn't confirmed the pow-wow but said its ambassador there is meeting with all sorts of political leaders. The US has been in Afghanistan for 17 years since launching Operation Enduring Freedom after the 9/11 terror attacks.

• Hannah Papps, the 12yo girl who survived a recent shark attack while holidaying in Queensland’s Whitsundays, has had her leg amputated. She is said to be recovering well.

The Sunday Tele reported (paywall) that former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce is in the hunt for his old job. While current leader Michael McCormack is considered a ‘good bloke’, the report says some of his colleagues worry he “lacks pizzazz”.

• Remember last year’s disastrous Fyre Festival where beautiful celebs and the Insta-fabulous were lured to a luxury event in the Bahamas but instead were stranded in something resembling a bad B&S Ball? Organiser Billy McFarlane has been jailed for six years for fraud. A warning to his fellow prisoners – don’t let him organise movie night…

This one is like something out of a horror movie. A funeral home in Detroit was shut down earlier this year after many super-gross violations. However, it was the discovery on Friday night of the bodies of 11 babies in boxes and two small caskets placed in the ceiling that has received international attention. While it’s not known how long they were there, at least one body dates from 2009. The new owner of the home, who plans on turning the building into a community centre, made the gruesome discovery and called police.

Torrential rain and landslides on the Indonesian island of Sumatra have claimed the lives of at least 27 people, including many kids, and destroyed hundreds of homes. It was just one of several extreme weather events from the weekend. The remnants of Hurricane Leslie hit Portugal and Spain – a rarity for that part of the world. Storm Callum brought Wales strong winds and the worst flooding in 30 years. And authorities believe 12 people died when Cyclone Titli hit eastern India. Meanwhile, in the US, many hundreds are missing in the wake of Hurricane Michael, and 18 people are confirmed dead. The pictures of the damage are shocking.

If there is a weather god, she had a lot of fun on Friday with Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding guests. Hats, hair and hemlines were all a-bluster as breezes stiffer than the guests’ English accents played havoc with their entrance into the church. But that aside, and as the pictures show, the bride was beautiful, the groom was nervous, and the guest list was a who’s who of the rich and famous. Who could ask for more?


This morning - Prince Harry and Meghan arrive in Sydney (and here's a guide for what to do if you happen to bump into them over the next few days...)

Global Handwashing Day

International Day of Rural Women

Start of Foot Health Week

Anniversary of the 'boy in a runaway balloon' fake news story (2009)

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