Squiz Today / 23 September 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 23 September


“I'm very honoured."

Said Sir Peter Cosgrove, our former Governor-General, who met his namesake, 4yo Peter Cosgrove Pinto, on his return to East Timor on Friday. It's a touching gesture, sure, but pity the kid who'll have a lifetime of explaining it...


PM Scott Morrison and US President Donald Trump revelled in the love-fest that befitted the bells-and-whistles visit by the Aussie leader to the White House on Friday. With the ceremonial stage set for their arrival (inclusive of an awkward 'do we kiss or shake hands' moment between Jenny Morrison and First Lady Melania Trump...) to a fancy State Dinner in the Rose Garden, the relationship between the nations was duly honoured.

Deep. “For a century, we have done what true friends do and stick by each other. You won’t find a more sure and steadfast friend, a better mate, than Australia,” said Morrison. To commemorate the moment, Morrison gifted Trump a bronze figurine of Leslie' Bull' Allen, a stretcher-bearer in WWII who rescued 12 American casualties while under fire in New Guinea, and there are plans for a life-sized memorial. Asked about his relationship with the Aussie PM, Trump played off the riff of President George W Bush’s “man of steel” moment with former PM John Howard; “He’s a man of titanium, believe me… You might think he’s a nice guy, okay, he’s a man of real, real strength and a great guy,” Trump said.

Not quite. Two issues are difficult for us. First is Trump's trade war with China, which has the potential to damage our economy. And while Morrison empathises with Trump on China's expanding power, the trade spat is an issue Australia would like to see settled quickly and within the existing rules - two things Trump doesn’t seem much interested in. And the second is the increasing tensions between the US and Iran. We have committed a frigate and a surveillance aircraft to keep the Strait of Hormuz open. But with Trump again flagging the prospect of a military strike against Iran, Morrison yesterday distanced Australia from further participation.



With President Trump saying the 'easy' thing to do would be to attack Iran, the conservative Islamic nation responded it's ready to destroy any country that launches an attack on its territory. Last weekend, an attack on two Saudi oil plants prompted claims from the US that it was Iran’s handiwork, despite Yemen’s Houthi rebels claiming responsibility. On Friday, new US sanctions targeting Iran's central bank and its sovereign wealth fund were announced. And more US troops are being sent to Saudi Arabia to boost its air and missile defences. Iran’s leader Hassan Rouhani yesterday said a new Gulf peace initiative would be presented at the United Nations this week.


Reports carried by Nine newspapers and TV this morning say Ben Roberts-Smith, a Victoria Cross recipient, is being investigated by the Australian Federal Police. It’s alleged that while serving in Afghanistan in 2012, he kicked a handcuffed detainee off a small cliff while another soldier is accused of shooting dead the injured detainee. Roberts-Smith denies any wrongdoing. He’s already started defamation proceedings against Nine for reports last year claiming he was implicated in war crimes.


Because it’s cool to be current…

HONG KONG PROTESTS MAKE IT 16 WEEKENDS ON THE TROT - There were more violent scenes and arrests, including two 13yos. Shopping centres were a focal point for protests yesterday with Chinese-linked businesses targeted. Their plans to disrupt the airport were dashed when only those with flight tickets allowed to board the train to the airport. A Chinese flag was trampled by protesters before being carried out and thrown into a river.

INDO LAW PAUSE - In a case of premature legislation, the proposed changes to Indonesia’s penal code to outlaw premarital relations and criticism of the president (amongst other things) have had the brakes applied. President Joko Widodo said, "I've decided that some of it needs further deliberation".

CLIMATE STRIKE ATTRACTS CROWDS - Reports say about 300,000 Australians turned out to Friday’s Climate Strike. Worldwide, organisers estimate four million people turned up to 6,000 events held in more than 1,000 cities across 185 countries. The strike action came ahead of the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit today (US time). A report from the World Meteorological Organisation tabled ahead of the meeting shows the years 2014 to 2019 to be the warmest period on record.

Want some more background to some of the big stories? How about a Squiz Shortcut on Climate Change and Hong Kong? In less than 10 minutes, you'll be sitting pretty.


Aerial ping pong fans rejoice… The final two have been decided. Establishment club, the Richmond Tigers, will take on relative newcomers, the Greater Western Sydney Giants, who will make their first grand final appearance. GWS’s ascendance is a surprise after fighting off Collingwood with a depleted team on Saturday night. But who knows what will happen on Saturday. If form is any indicator, GWS has won four of their last seven encounters against Richmond. One prize has already been decided - the good guy award goes to GWS forward Jeremy Cameron.

And three more things while we have you… The Wallabies won their opening match at the Rugby World Cup against Fiji, but not without controversy. Tennis brat Nick Kyrgios has found a new excuse to drop a match - he was distracted by a lady in the crowd. And Taylor Swift has been scratched from the Melbourne Cup.


Us, because how better to experience the red carpet shenanigans of the Primetime Emmys than from the vantage point of a Monday morning? The sentimental favourite is Game of Thrones with its record-breaking 32 nominations for its final season. In comedy, Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus is also vying for a gong for her final turn as Selena Meyer, but she faces stiff competition from Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Fleabag. And for drama, Killing Eve stars Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh go head-to-head for best lead actress. The full list of nominees is here.


The human-dog bond is real, as demonstrated by a couple who went all out to find their lost Border collie. This is a heartwarming read to get your week started right.


10.00am (AEST) - 71st Primetime Emmy Awards - Los Angeles

UN Climate Action Summit

Harry and Meghan depart the UK for a 10-day Africa tour

Saudi Arabia’s National Day

International Day of Sign Languages

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