Squiz Today / 23 July 2018

Squiz Today – Monday, 23 July


“Humphrey and Mrs Teddy”

Iron Lady Margaret Thatcher had a soft heart… for teddy bears. And new documents released on her time as UK Prime Minister show the bears were in demand. As they say, if you want a friend in politics, get a… stuffed toy?


It’s been 36 years since our national leader visited the Northern Territory’s Tennant Creek with PM Malcolm Turnbull ending the spell yesterday for a two-day visit. On the agenda – improving child safety. The spotlight has been on the remote town since an attack on a 2yo girl in February and reports that 15 Indigenous children have been removed from their families since then.

Turnbull said the federal, NT and local governments need to work “with First Australians, doing things with First Australians rather than doing things to them.” And he said the region needs an economic plan. Local Mayor Steve Eddington concurred saying; “We have to get off the cycle of unemployment and get people into employment.”  And The Australian this morning reports (paywall) a proposal to give the local elder-run cultural authority powers to banish troublemakers from Tennant Creek is being considered.

If you haven’t issued the invitations for your Super Saturday by-election party, you’re starting the week behind. You’ve only got five sleeps to get a ham ordered (because what’s a by-election without some pork-barrelling?). Which is a long way of saying it's the big thing in politics this week. No one’s that excited about the two seats in Western Australia. But the races in Mayo (South Australia), and particularly in Longman (Queensland) and Braddon (Tassie), are hotting up. And some new polling out today will put wind in Turnbull’s sails. Don't say we didn't warn you.


A ceasefire has been negotiated between Israel and Hamas following intense fighting. Analysts say the conflict is heading towards a war that can only be averted by a diplomatic breakthrough. Meanwhile, Israel has evacuated 800 Syrian White Helmets from a war zone in southwestern Syria to Jordan. The White Helmets are a volunteer civil defence group that has been protecting civilians in Syria's war zones.

China’s President Xi Jinping is on his first overseas trip since having his position confirmed in March. Pundits say he sees African nations as a good place for deeper military and economic ties. China already sells more weapons there than the US. The visit comes with countries like ours on guard over China’s efforts to expand its global influence. Our government is particularly edgy about China’s engagement with Pacific nations.

ONE DEAD IN SUPERMARKET SIEGE – A man in his 20s ran into a Los Angeles’ Trader Joe’s supermarket after crashing while fleeing police. He was being chased after shooting his grandmother and wounding another woman. A woman was shot and killed at the store, and up to 50 people were taken hostage. He gave himself up four hours later.

MISSOURI TRAGEDY - A duck boat (amphibious vessel) with 31 people aboard sank killing 17 people. One woman lost nine members of her family including her four children and husband. Authorities are investigating if any criminal acts were committed.

PUTIN INVITED TO VISIT WHITE HOUSE – It’s been confirmed that US President Donald Trump has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to come to Washington DC. And spare a thought for US Intelligence Director Dan Coats - his reaction was just a bit more public than he would have liked. Awkward…

Author Colleen McCullough’s $2.1 million estate will go to husband Ric Robinson. Despite their marital woes, the court did not agree with her close friend Selwa Anthony who said the author wanted her estate to go to the University of Oklahoma Foundation. The judge said the differing accounts made it hard to know the truth, and that Robinson was not an entirely reliable witness, but the estate was his. McCullough wrote 25 books including 1977's The Thorn Birds, which sold 33 million copies. She died in 2015.

It’s funny how some ‘facts’ take on a life of their own. For example, Americans use 500 million plastic straws every day - a 'fact' cited in many reports last week about recent announcements of a straw ban by Starbucks and McDonald’s. Except the New York Times says the number “is based on research conducted years ago by an enterprising 9-year-old Vermont boy named Milo Cress.” Cress, now 17yo, says; “I came up with this statistic because I couldn’t find anything else about it.” Thank goodness no one's quoted the findings of our primary school projects. Very unreliable...


National Pain Week

Revolution Day - Egypt

Anniversary of Amy Winehouse's death (2011)

And for anyone who remembers their 'causes of WWI' high school history... Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia following the killing of Archduke Francis Ferdinand by a Serb assassin (1914)

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