Squiz Today / 17 April 2019

Squiz Today – Wednesday, 17 April


"Farmers have generally got much better at keeping an eye on each other and seeking help and support if needed, even if that means just having a rant on Facebook!”

Pamela Lawson (or Bundle as everyone knows her…) is a modern-day farmer. With her husband Pete and their three tin lids, they're a couple of the best farmers going around - but the drought has stifled their efforts in the last couple of years. So please do a rain dance for Bundle as she takes on this week’s Three Minute Squiz.


Yesterday’s fire engulfing one of Paris’ most treasured landmarks has collapsed the cathedral's spire and roof but the main structure, including the iconic bell towers, has been saved. As teams attempted to protect and salvage as many precious artworks and artefacts as they could, President Emmanuel Macron said the "worst had been avoided" and vowed to rebuild the cathedral.

• If there is any good luck in this story, it's that the cathedral's door had just been shut to visitors at the end of Monday before smoke was seen rising from the spire near scaffolding where renovations were underway.

• More than 400 firefighters were deployed to the island in the middle of Paris where Notre Dame is situated, and they battled to control the fire for nearly five hours. About 12 hours transpired between the fire starting and fire authorities saying it was entirely out.

• These excellent diagrams show how the fire spread from the attic to ultimately destroy two-thirds of the roof and spire, which were both wooden structures.

• Many precious artworks were already out of the cathedral because of the renovations. Firefighters were also able to save some of the cathedral’s valuable artworks, including linen associated with Saint Louis, the crown of thorns and the cathedral’s treasury. Sadly though, many other treasures were lost.

• There have already been significant financial pledges made towards the reconstruction effort. The Pinault, Bernard Arnault (owners of the luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), and Bettencourt Meyers (which controls L'Oreal) families have pledged €500 million of the €700 million already raised.

Yes, it's one of the most visited landmarks in the most visited city in the world. And along with its religious significance, Notre Dame is described as the heart of French culture and history. As many said yesterday, a significant part of France’s inheritance was destroyed in just a few hours. It’s where Napoleon crowned himself Emperor in 1804 and where Charles de Gaulle attended Mass in 1944 to celebrate the liberation of Paris from the Nazis. It’s also the place where writer Victor Hugo said; “every surface, every stone of this venerable pile, is a page of the history, not only of the country, but of science and art.” Pics of the aftermath are here.



Last week saw the start of the world’s biggest election as India headed to the polls. This week it’s what the Lowy Institute calls "one of the most complicated single-day elections in global history". It's Indonesia's general election, and 192 million citizens are eligible to cast their votes today. Want some more numbers? Reports say 245,000 candidates will be running for more than 20,000 national and local legislative seats across 18,000 islands. Wowsers… Headlining the ticket is the battle for the presidency with incumbent Joko Widodo going up against former military general Prabowo Subianto in a rerun of the 2014 poll. It’s expected to be a close one. Indonesians living in Australia have already cast their votes, with many queueing for hours to exercise their democratic right.


A man whose most famous on-stage alter-ego is a woman has had his name stripped from a Melbourne Comedy Festival award following comments he made last year about transgender people. Organisers yesterday confirmed the top award for a show at the festival will no longer be called 'The Barry' because of a decision to make it gender-neutral. Others say it’s because its namesake, comedian and Dame Edna Everidge creator Barry Humphries, last year said being transgender was ‘a fashion’. There was no immediate reaction from Humphries. Last year’s winner of the award, Hannah Gadsby, tweeted at the time that Humphries "loves those who hold power, hates vulnerable minorities and has completely lost the ability to read the room".


The final tally from the floods that devastated north-west Queensland has been taken, and the numbers paint a bleak picture. More than 660,000 cattle and 48,000 sheep were killed, some 10,000 kilometres of fencing was swept away and more than 15,000 kilometres of private roads were damaged. The total cost, according to the farm lobby AgForce: more than $2 billion. Given this issue is Bundle's pick for a news story we should know more about in her Three Minute Squiz today, it’s timely to highlight the extreme hardship farmers there will have to overcome…


You can barely start a conversation with your mates these days before they ask you when you think there’s going to be an interest rate cut. Not really. But it is a recurring theme amongst economic policy types, and the release of yesterday’s minutes from the last Reserve Bank meeting adds clarity to where its board stands on the FAQ. Long story short, the RBA says unemployment would have to rise and inflation would need to stay low for it to change its mind. It's important because with our economic growth slowing, lowering the interest rate from an already record low of 1.5% could free up cash for other expenditure that would, in turn, grow the economy. Tell your interest rate-obsessed buddies to stick that in their pipe and smoke it.


What a way to make a living… It’s the sort of working day Jack Ma, founder of Alibaba (aka China’s eBay), has recommended for Chinese workers if the economic powerhouse is to get its mojo back. Oh, and he's talking about doing those kind of hours across a six-day work week… The so-called ‘996’ system is being hotly debated in China, particularly in the wake of another online giant, JD.com, recently announcing job cuts. Its boss Richard Liu has backed Ma’s call, and recently wrote about how he used to set his alarm to wake him every two hours so he could offer his customers 24-hour service. Which sounds very healthy…


Well, haven’t hot cross bun lovers had a good (aka extended) start to the year? But all good spiced fruit buns must come to an end and after Sunday, it’s over until next Boxing Day when the cycle of outrage can start again. In the meantime, here’s where experts say the best bun action can be had. Bon app.


ABS Data Release - Employment in Renewable Energy Activities, 2017-18

Wallaby Israel Folau to notify Rugby Australia of his response to their termination notice over his social media postings

Syria's National Day

World Haemophilia Day


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