Squiz Today / 18 September 2017

Squiz Today – Monday, 18 September


“Heart Wood”

That’s Dulux’s colour of 2018. They say it “sits somewhere between smoky taupe and dusky mauve.” We say it’s a time machine. Put a Laura Ashley wallpaper border around the top, and you'll be back in 1985 in a jiffy.


All eyes are on US President Donald Trump as he prepares to address the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. Trump isn’t a big UN fan – last year he said it was “just a club for people to get together, talk and have a good time.” However, it comes at a critical time with some difficult issues on the table.

No problem, that’s what The Squiz is here for. Those issues include:

1. North Korea thumbed its nose at the UN and the world when it launched another missile test over Japan on Friday. The message was clear with the missile flying the distance that would be required to hit the US territory of Guam. World leaders condemned the attack, but many said (and hoped) full compliance with the new sanctions will significantly impact North Korea. 

2. There’s growing speculation Trump will pull the US out of an international deal with Iran struck in 2015 over its nuclear program. Under the deal, Iran is allowed monitored access to enriched uranium for power generation, but not for developing bombs. However, Trump has indicated he does not believe Iran is holding up its end of the deal. The US has until 15 October to certify Iran’s compliance, and the other world powers that signed the deal are nervous the US will pull out.

3. While the White House says there’s no change in its position on the Paris Climate Agreement (ie it will walk away unless it can negotiate more favourable terms), there was speculation over the weekend that the US is reviewing the terms of its participation.  

Trump’s appearance at the UN and how he handles those big issues will give the world a sense of how (or if) he’s evolving as a world leader. Trump’s every word – scripted and unscripted – will be observed and analysed. If his previous outings are a good measure, his scripted speech will be well considered and nuanced, but his unscripted comments in private and unguarded moments are a bit, well, loose (eg last night's effort). And we’ll find out a bit more about how Trump is travelling with his ‘America First’ platform. Whatever happens, expect this these matters to get quite a bit of airtime this week.


Two men have been arrested over an explosion on a London Tube train on Friday that injured 30 people. Reports say Islamic extremism motivated the two men (aged 18yo and 21yo) who are being held on suspicion of committing a terror offence. The younger of the two is reported to have been living at a home belonging to an elderly couple who have fostered hundreds of kids, including refugees. The explosion occurred after a homemade ‘bucket bomb’ partially detonated on the train at Parson’s Green tube station. Had it fully exploded authorities believe the damage would have been much worse. The UK terror threat was raised to critical on Friday following the attack (which means another attack is imminent) but was lowered overnight to severe. And thankfully just one of those injured remains in hospital.

Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham will today present a plan to introduce literacy and numeracy testing for year one students from 2019. The test would be given one-on-one with a teacher, not a written assessment like NAPLAN tests, and results would not be made publicly available. The literacy component would be based on phonics, a method to teach reading by letter sounds. The teachers’ union said testing for 6yos was a bit OTT but Birmingham said it would help to ensure kids don’t fall through the cracks.

The Coalition for Marriage (No campaigners) said it didn’t organise the stunt, but a big “Vote No” appeared in skywriting above Sydney yesterday morning. Their Saturday night launch featured Australian Conservatives Senator Cory Bernardi who said he believed they were on the right side of “legal and moral history”. And Yes campaigners held a number of rallies across the country to urge supporters to return their postal votes as part of their #PostYourYes campaign. "Our great concern is that people will get lost in a bunch of bills and all that sort of stuff. So please, as soon as you get the letter take it down to a post box and just send it," said Yes campaigner and funny lady Magda Szubanski.

UN WARNING ON ROHINGYA CRISIS - Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN, says Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi has a small window to act to stop the military’s violence towards Rohingya Muslims before “the tragedy will be absolutely horrible.” His warning comes as the head of Myanmar’s military blamed Rohingya people for the crisis. And Bangladesh is limiting the movement of the 400,000 Rohingya who fled over their border saying they will not be allowed to travel from the shelters that are being set up for them. This link provides some pictures to the words to show how awful the situation is.

MARIA AND JOSE UNWELCOME VISITORS – Tropical Storm Maria is expected to pick up pace and become a hurricane as it heads towards the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean – the same route travelled by Irma last week. If worst comes to worst, Maria will hit on Tuesday or Wednesday. And Hurricane Jose, which is sitting off the US east coast, is expected to bring rain and wind later in the week as far north as New York.

IMPROVING PLANE AIR - The UK’s EasyJet will become the first to acknowledge and address “aerotoxic syndrome” by fitting filters to stop toxic fumes from entering plane cabins and cockpits. It’s believed plane crew and frequent flyers can be at risk of developing health problems from the air that is drawn from the plane’s engines and circulated into the plane during a flight. If you’ve never thought about where your air comes while you’re onboard, bet you will now…

AFL FINALS WITH AIDO – Both week-one losers bounced back with strong victories this weekend. Geelong easily beat Sydney by 59 points. And Greater Western Sydney easily beat West Coast by 67 points in front of less than 15,000 fans (disappointing for the AFL, but a crowd the NRL would be happy with…). We now face the business end of the AFL finals series – stay tuned. 

NRL FINALS WITH GIBBO – It was another two tight games - sorry if I'm sounding like a broken record, but this is just how footy finals should be. As I suspected on Friday, the Brisbane Broncos got the win but the Penrith Panthers took it right to the line. And the Parramatta Eels looked like they had their match against the North Queensland Cowboys under control at half time but they lost after slipping up a little too much in the second half. Next week gets very interesting, see you on Friday. 

SOCCER - The magic Matildas (Oz women’s soccer side) defeated Brazil 2-1 on Saturday night in a sold out friendly match. They’ll play again on Tuesday night in Newcastle.

RUGBY - The Wallabies interrupted their losing streak with a 45-20 win against Argentina in Canberra. Reports say the Aussies were booed off at half time (they were 13-10 behind) but bounced back to make a game of it. Maybe the cold/bureaucratic air suits them.

TENNIS - Australia has been bundled out of the Davis Cup semi-final. We were beaten 3-2 by Belgium.

The Emmys are on this morning as the entertainment industry comes together to celebrate the best in television. The most nominated programs are HBO sci-fi debutante Westworld and NBC’s Saturday Night Live. It will be a travesty if Alec Baldwin’s Donald Trump doesn’t win his category. Of the Aussies, Geoffrey Rush (Genius), Nicole Kidman (Big Little Lies), Judy Davis (Feud: Betty and Joan) and Kate Dennis (director of The Handmaid’s Tale) are all up for gongs. Stephen Colbert is hosting = fun! So if you need a doona day, today’s not a bad one – tell your boss we said it’s fine.


10.00am (AEST) - 69th Primetime Emmy Awards - Los Angeles

ABS Data Release - Sales of New Motor Vehicles, August

47th anniversary of Jimi Hendrix death

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.