Squiz Today / 09 April 2018

Squiz Today – Monday, 9 April


“Not a bad hourly rate for a five-hour shift.”

Said Russell Crowe of his $3.7 million haul from the auction of his stuff on Saturday night. Not bad at all…


Reports say more than 70 people have died and 500 are injured after a suspected chemical attack on the Syrian town of Douma on Saturday. It is the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta near the capital of Damascus. The attack is yet to be confirmed by official sources, but groups working in the area reported toxic gas, likely sarin, being dropped by helicopters causing people to suffocate and choke. It’s alleged the attack was carried out by pro-government forces but both Syria and Russia denied an attack has occurred.

The key points are:

• It would not be the first time Bashar al-Assad’s government used chemical weapons on its people. Sarin gas was used against civilians in Khan Sheikhoun a year ago killing 80 people. And in 2013, more than 1,000 people died in the same way in Eastern Ghouta.

• Taking a bigger step back, this is all part of the seven-year-long Syrian war that has claimed the lives of more than 100,000 civilians.

• Eastern Ghouta has been a focus for government-backed fighters in recent weeks because it’s one of the last held rebel areas. More than1,600 civilians have died in the fighting.

• First up is verification - which will be difficult for investigators because Syrian and Russian forces have encircled the town making it hard to get in.

• Second is blame. The US said the responsibility lies with Russia. And US President Donald Trump yesterday took to Twitter to say there will be a big price for them to pay.

• And then there’s a bigger discussion on Syria to be settled. World leaders are already meeting about managing a post-war Syria, and reports last week said US President Donald Trump wants America out of the war-torn country in six months time.

You can expect more to be said about this in the days and weeks to come.


PM Malcolm Turnbull has suffered his 30th consecutive Newspoll loss to Labor. It’s the same number Turnbull said showed “the people have made up their mind about Tony Abbott,” when he toppled him in 2015. The result – the Coalition improved one point but trails Labor 48:52 on a two-party preferred basis, and Turnbull holds a two-point lead over Labor's Bill Shorten as preferred PM (38:36). For Abbott’s part, he’s on his annual fundraising bike ride and might find himself near some old coal-fired power generators today. Turnbull would do well to heed his own advice on ignoring negative social media.

Before Nine’s 60 Minutes aired a story last night of sheep dying of thirst and heat on a ship to the Middle East last year, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said he was “shocked and gutted”. He’s ordered a review into the incident that left 2,400 sheep dead out of the 60,000 on board. And 64,000 sheep due to leave today for the Middle East on the same Emanuel Exports ship has been blocked with regulators querying high stock levels and airflow. Live exports is a $2 billion industry and the industry has had its share of animal welfare concerns over the years.

Listen up frozen pomegranate lovers. A recall has been issued for Creative Gourmet Frozen Pomegranate (180g) sold only at Coles with a best before date up to and including March 21, 2020. NSW Health has reported seven cases of hepatitis A it believes have resulted from the consumption of the product. NSW is working with health authorities in other states and territories to check for other cases.

CANADA DEVASTATED BY BUS CRASH – The Humboldt Broncos ice hockey team was travelling to a junior league playoff game when it collided with a semi-trailer, leaving 15 of the 29 people on board dead. The crash has shattered hockey-mad Canada.

VAN DRIVES INTO CROWD IN GERMANY – Two people died from the impact, and the driver shot himself dead. Twenty people were injured, six seriously. It occurred in Muenster and authorities say they are still working on a motive.

TRADING TARIFFS – Team Trump has hit the US Sunday morning political shows hard to sell the virtues of going toe-to-toe with China on trade. One interesting snippet – a pro-Trump commentator said Australia is part of a ‘coalition of the willing' that will apply pressure to China over its trade practices. Quid pro quo for the steel and aluminium tariff exemption perhaps?

Australia’s gold medal haul is so blingy it’s borderline embarrassing. At the close of business last night, our total medal tally was an impressive 81 medals, including 31 gold, leaving precious few for other countries in the Commonwealth to haggle over. Three things worth pointing out:

• Our swimmers once again dominated the pool, with impressive individual performances by Cate Campbell and Kyle Chalmers, although he was beaten last night in the 100m freestyle by Duncan Scott from Scotland. Scott the Scot!

• There was drama in the walking when Aussie Claire Tallent was disqualified, ceding the win to compatriot Jemima Montag. Tallent, to her credit, was the first to congratulate Montag as she crossed the line.

• And a weird one - the car was taking swimming legends Ian Thorpe and Giaan Rooney to their commentary jobs at the swimming was taken off the road by police because they believe it was stolen. Someone’s got some explaining to do…

“I am named after your mum. I am Elizabeth,” said Elizabeth Kulla Kulla to Prince Charles before shaking his hand and collapsing into floods of tears in Cairns yesterday. Kulla Kulla is an Aboriginal woman from Coen on Queensland’s Cape York Peninsula. Which is about as far away from Buckingham Palace as you can get. Charles got off more lightly than future daughter-in-law Meghan Markle. She’s had an okapi named after her. With brown hair, pretty eyes and great ears, she looks a bit like a horse/giraffe hybrid. That's Meghan the okapi we're talking about.


Day of the Finnish Language

Anniversary of Baghdad, Iraq falling to American troops (2003)

Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall's wedding anniversary (2005)

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