Squiz Today / 15 November 2019
Squiz Today – Friday, 15 November
"The cows certainly have a gripping story to share.”
Said a government spokesman after three cows turned up in a North Carolina park. It was thought they’d been lost to a sea surge when Hurricane Dorian swept through in September. The bovine paddlers are believed to have swum 6.5 kilometres to safety. Can’t wait for their survivor memoirs…
CONSTABLE TO DEFEND YUENDUMU MURDER CHARGE
Authorities' handling of the death of Yuendumu resident Kumanjayi Walker on Saturday has continued to draw significant criticism. Constable Zach Rolfe has left the Northern Territory for Canberra as he awaits a return to court on 19 December. The NT Police Association says he will plead not guilty to Walker’s killing.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN ISSUES?
Some are specific to Walker's case. The time it took police to inform his family about his death after the incident on Saturday night is a big one. But some matters are more deep-rooted, like Indigenous deaths in custody, and the lack of medical services in the remote community that meant Walker was unable to receive urgent care. There is also a call from some elders to have guns removed from their communities. Authorities and the NT Government says these issues will be canvassed at during an ICAC inquiry, and investigations by the Ombudsman and coroner. More than 1,000 people gathered in Alice Springs to make their points yesterday.
WHAT HAVE PEOPLE SAID?
The couple who raised Walker spoke to ABC TV’s 7.30 last night. Lottie Robertson said "We want that judgement or justice, to cleanse our heart". The Territory’s Chief Minister Michael Gunner said “This is an incredibly sad time for all. It is a time of high emotion. There are many people hurting in Yuendumu and around the Northern Territory and in our police force.” The Australian this morning says (paywall) this is “the worst rupture in relations between police and the indigenous community since the death in custody on North Queensland's Palm Island of Cameron Mulrunji Doomadgee in 2004."
SQUIZ THE REST
FIREFIGHT NOT OVER YET
The death toll from the devastating fires in NSW over the last week rose to four yesterday. The body of Barry Parsons was found in burnt-out bushland near Kempsey, on the Mid-North Coast. North to Queensland, and police yesterday charged a 16-year-old boy with starting the Cobraball fire, west of Yeppoon, that destroyed 14 homes. The developments come as authorities get ready for another dangerous weekend. There are almost 60 fires still burning in NSW and 70 in Queensland - none at the emergency warning level with blazes near Byron Bay and Taree downgraded overnight. But with hot and windy conditions set to return, particularly in Queensland, “we’re in for the long haul,” NSW’s Rural Fire Service Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers said yesterday.
A state of emergency has been declared for Venice after flood levels reached 1.87 metres affecting more than 80% of the city - the highest water levels in more than 50 years. The famous St Mark's Basilica is one of the worst affected landmarks when it flooded for just the sixth time in 1,200 years, with four of those occasions in the last two decades. "It hurts to see the city so damaged, its artistic heritage compromised, its commercial activities on its knees," Italian PM Giuseppe Conte said overnight. The water is expected to remain high for several days with more rain falling on the sinking city. Some pics are here.
TRUMP HEARINGS GO PUBLIC
The public hearing phase of the impeachment inquiry into US President Donald Trump has commenced. The sessions are trying to get to the heart of whether Trump abused his power by withholding military assistance to Ukraine until it announced investigations into former Vice President/2020 presidential hopeful Joe Biden. Yesterday, America’s acting ambassador to Ukraine said his staffer heard a call between Trump and his ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland talking about “the investigations”. “First time I’ve heard it,” was Trump’s response. Which is really just an excuse to show you these emotions support dogs that are soothing jangled congressional staffers’ nerves…
UNEMPLOYMENT RISE NOT EXPECTED
That was careless… Our jobs market lost 19,000 roles in October, which was the largest drop since late 2016 and contrary to what economists were expecting. The result saw our unemployment rate rise 0.1% to 5.3% - a development as welcomed as a fat cat on an Aeroflot flight. With the Reserve Bank's target of full employment at 4.5%, economists and markets upped their expectations of another interest rate cut in the coming months.
FACEBOOK DITCHES FAKE ACCOUNTS
Stepping up to the public accountability plate, Facebook yesterday released the latest data on its ‘community standards enforcement' work. It covers the things the social media giant does to keep offensive or dangerous content off the platform. The standout number is 5.4 billion - that's how many fake accounts it’s taken down so far this year, accounting for about 5% of its monthly active users. And millions of fake accounts likely remain, it says. For context, about 3.3 billion fake accounts were removed in all of 2018, and the uptick is due to better detection systems after a concerted effort to counter the things the company is copping heat from governments and regulators for.
FRIDAY LITES - THREE THINGS WE LIKED THIS WEEK
It’s been a heavy news week. So this lovely profile on actor Tom Hanks, who is undoubtedly a contender for nicest man in the world, offered some relief.
Continuing the upbeat theme - Oprah’s Favourite Things for 2019. With just 28 working days until Chrissy, it’s just about time to get your gifting on…
We roasted a chook last week and needed another accompaniment to go with a green salad. These roasted carrots were delish and super fancy for not a lot of effort. We’re going back again this weekend…
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Australian National Accounts: Input-Output Tables (say it like you know what it means…)
Jimmy Choo’s birthday (1948)
Start of Schoolies Week
Anniversary of Milli Vanilli being stripped of their Grammy Award because the did not sing on the Girl You Know It’s True album (1990)
Anniversary of the founding of Qantas (1920)
7.00pm (AEDT) - Season 3 of The Crown released on Netflix
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