Squiz Today / 18 February 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 18 February


“This research could be a wake-up call to the risks posed by toasting and toasters.”

Toasting bread can expose you to more pollution than a busy road, says a new study. Roasting and frying food are also not great activities for good air quality in your home. Maybe Carrie Bradshaw had it right by using her kitchen as an extension of her wardrobe?


A terrorist attack that killed 46 Indian paramilitary police officers in Kashmir - the worst attack on India’s security forces in the last 30 years - has put India and Pakistan on the brink of another major conflict. Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (Army of Mohammed), which wants the territory merged with Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack. The Pakistan Government denied any connection. And Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised that those responsible will “pay a very heavy price for their actions.”


The dispute over Kashmir, which has a Muslim-majority population, goes way back. In three quick points:

• Kashmir was free to align with India or Pakistan in the 1940s when the Brits left, and the local maharaja picked India. There have long been many in Kashmir who either want to be part of Pakistan or an independent state. And that has often resulted in violence.

• Wars over the territory were fought in the 40, 60s and 90s. A ceasefire was agreed between the governments in 2003, and India still administers the region. Note: both India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons, and that threat has loomed over the dispute.

• Things had been relatively subdued since the 90s until the death of militant leader Burhan Wani in a gun battle with Indian forces in 2016 which aggravated old wounds and saw the return of violence.

With India’s elections expected in April or May, Modi is facing deep anger in India and calls to take military action. That’s certainly one option on the table, as well as diplomatic isolation. The US has sided with India and says the attack has renewed its commitment to support India’s counterterrorism efforts. It’s one to watch out for.



The House of Reps is back this week, but not the Senate which will spend the week grilling our public servants. The Coalition Government kicks off a new week with improved polling numbers (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald/Financial Review Ipsos poll has the Coalition 49:51 behind Labor, up from 44:56 in December). On the agenda is:

• Establishing a royal commission on abuse in disability services. Reports say it will likely get up today. There are also votes on small business and payday lending where the Coalition is said to have reversed its opposition.

• More talk about border protection. PM Scott Morrison made a video about it. What the Coalition is not keen to discuss: a $420 million contract for security services at the Manus Island detention centre granted to a company called Paladin (even though its office was a beach shack on Kangaroo Island).

• More evidence we’re actually in an election campaign, we just haven’t been told… Our first lady, Jenny Morrison, has given her first major interview to 9Honey.


US President Donald Trump made the threat so many times many thought it wouldn’t happen. But on Saturday (Oz time) he called a national emergency to get the funds required to build his version of a border wall between America and Mexico. Trump said there is an "invasion" of drugs and undocumented immigrants at the border, but commentators said there was little evidence to back up his claim that a national emergency exists. Trump’s state of emergency is likely to be stalled by legal challenges, but what won’t be stalled is his use of the issue to galvanise his supporters as he heads into the second half of his presidential term.


America’s Cardinal Theodore McCarrick became the most senior Catholic priest to be expelled after a church trial found him guilty of child abuse. The 88yo McCarrick has no avenue of appeal. Pope Francis will meet with bishops from across the world later this week to discuss the crisis within the church following a number of abuse cases involving high-ranking priests.


Don't worry, you don't need to up your personal security, but you might need to check your diet/exercise regime. The Heart Foundation yesterday launched a campaign with News Corp ahead of the election to push for Medicare funding for a dedicated heart health test. They say it would cost $170 million over five years, but could save the health system $1.5 billion, and prevent 76,500 heart attacks. If that’s got you thinking about your heart health, take the Foundation’s new test to estimate your heart’s age.


She was Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis' sister. That's about all we knew about Lee Radziwill until reading about her death on Friday at 85yo. She was also a former princess (she married and divorced Polish nobleman Prince Stanislas Radziwill), as well as an actor, writer, interior designer and PR exec for Giorgio Armani. She had an intense sibling rivalry with Jackie in their early years, but there was recognition of the support she gave her widowed sister when President John F Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. And then they drifted apart again with Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis said come between them. Jackie left nothing in her will for her sister "for whom I have great affection." Radziwill once described the attention she received because of her famous sister as; "at times it was annoying, at times funny.”


Hearings for the Royal Commission into the quality and safety of aged care services resume

Anniversary of the death of Michelangelo (1564)

Anniversary of the publishing of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1885)

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