Squiz Today / 24 September 2019

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 24 September


“We were surprised to realise that the official emoji selection has dozens of different cats and even two designs of zombies, but there isn’t an emoji for forgiveness.”

So Finland's Tuomo Pesonen is pushing to have an appropriate representation for the messaging dependent. As the saying goes, let bygones be bygones - or preferably a symbol, so you don't have to have an actual conversation...


Mega tour operator Thomas Cook collapsed yesterday leaving 600,000 tourists stranded. With 150,000 of those from Britain, the UK Government will temporarily become one of the world's largest airline operators as it charters 45 jets to fly its citizens home from Europe, the Caribbean, North Africa and America. Reports say the operation is the country's biggest ever peacetime repatriation of its citizens. The 178-year-old company, which pioneered packaged holidays and looked after about 19 million customers a year, also ran an airline, resorts and cruises in 16 countries. It was the world’s oldest travel business.

Thomas Cook entered compulsory liquidation when last-minute negotiations with investors crumbled after the company failed to find £200 million (AU$368.6 million) to avoid going under. Caught up in the collapse is Aussie business Webjet - it's owed $43.7 million, money it is unlikely to recover. With the travel industry significantly disrupted by online competitors, one tweeter nailed it saying; “I’m wavering between shock that Thomas Cook, a pillar of British business, collapsed, and surprise that it could operate at this scale in 2019.”

UK customers might be inconvenienced, but a government-run travel insurance program will get people home free of cost. And those yet to start their holiday will be able to claim a refund via a website. Travellers from other countries will have to rely on their own travel insurance if they have it. And then there are the staff… The collapse has almost certainly put 21,000 people, including 9,000 in the UK, out of work.



The meeting that’s brought together political, business and community leaders continues this morning, but so far teenage activist Greta Thunberg is the star of the show. In her speech to those gathered, Thunberg accused older generations of stealing her childhood. "I should be back in school, on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you!" she said. She and 15 other children filed a human rights violation complaint with the United Nations overnight naming Germany, France, Brazil, Argentina and Turkey as countries that have failed to take adequate action to combat climate change. While not attending the Summit, PM Scott Morrison raised climate change in a speech overnight challenging China, the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter, to do more.

Want some climate change basics? There’s a Squiz Shortcut for that…


The latest focuses on claims that US President Donald Trump has abused his power. The accusation: that during a late July phone call, Trump pressured newly-minted Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden. It's been reported that Trump said Biden encouraged the firing of Ukraine's top prosecutor because of an investigation into a local gas company. Biden’s son Hunter was a director of the company. After days of keeping mum, Trump yesterday acknowledged the exchange saying he wanted to impress upon Zelensky that “we don't want our people like Vice President Biden and his son creating to the corruption already in the Ukraine." (His words, don't blame us...) Biden is among the frontrunners to be the Democrats’ pick to face Trump in next year’s election. The question occupying Trump’s opponents’ minds is whether now is the time to push for the President’s impeachment.


UK LABOUR VOWS TO ABOLISH PRIVATE SCHOOLS - The party faithful have voted to approve a policy abolishing private schools (known as public schools there…) and redistributing their funds and properties. It’s a big move with a general election potentially around the corner.

ISRAEL ELECTION STILL JAMMED-UP - A bloc of Arab parties have endorsed Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White Alliance, to lead the country’s next government. After Israel’s second general election for the year, Gantz and PM Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party are struggling to find a path to government. To avoid a third general election, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin has recommended the coalition includes both parties.

LION BLAMES BOEING FOR CRASH - Indonesian authorities have concluded that design flaws and issues with the US regulatory system are primarily to blame for the fatal crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737 MAX jet in October last year killing all 189 onboard. Pilot and maintenance errors were also factors in the crash, a yet-to-be-released draft report is said to have found.


Confusion reigned last night when rugby outcast Israel Folau announced his intention to play rugby league for Tonga in a couple of end-of-season games, including against Australia. Folau says he has legal advice clearing him to play, and that the code’s International Federation has “endorsed” his return. Nope, said Australia’s representative on the board, former Queensland premier Peter Beattie. Drama TBC…

And while we have you… Here’s your first red carpet action for the day. Behold the sartorial magic from the AFL’s big night. Oh, and the winner of the league’s fairest and best was Nat Fyfe, captain of the Fremantle Dockers. It’s the second time Fyfe’s claimed the prestigious nod.


Because they got up with fleas… Or a Fleabag, to be exact. The series that was created by, written by and starring Phoebe Waller-Bridge was all over it nabbing four big awards at US television's night of nights. Game of Thrones won the drama series gong for the fourth time, bringing the show’s total Emmy stash to 59. The crowd favourite was Michelle Williams for her rousing speech. But our favourite fun moment goes to Barry writer Emily Heller who won the red carpet without even walking it. If an actual red carpet gallery is more your thing, you don’t need to go any further.


Problems with your parallel parking? Angled spots make you angry? You need DC plates - aka special number plates that are reserved for members of the diplomatic corps, and they're all over Canberra. Also in plentiful supply are the nearly $60,000 worth of unpaid parking tickets racked up by our international guests. The worst offenders - the Russians. Diplomats are offered immunity from prosecution by local authorities, so we might just be on the lookout for a spare set of DC plates ourselves…


8.00pm (AEST) - Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe to deliver an Economic Update to the Armidale Business Chamber Dinner - Armidale, NSW

Anniversary of F Scott Fitzgerald’s birthday (1896)

Anniversary of the release of Nirvana’s album Nevermind (1991)

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