Squiz Today / 23 June 2017
Squiz Today – Friday, 23 June
“Is there any one of the royal family who wants to be king or queen? I don’t think so, but we will carry out our duties at the right time.”
Prince Harry has done a great big interview with US mag Newsweek and it's a tour de force about how normal he is despite the tragedy of his mother's untimely death and all that comes with being a royal. He says even if he were king he would still do his own shopping. For the record, we wouldn't.
ISLAMIC STATE'S SYMBOLIC LOSS IN IRAQ
The 800yo mosque where Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi made his only public appearance as head of the terror organisation has been destroyed. The Grand Mosque of al-Nuri is in Mosul, Iraq and has been under IS control since mid-2014. Its destruction is significant because it’s thought IS themselves blew up the complex, and Iraqi PM Haider al-Abadi says that’s tantamount to “an official declaration of defeat” by the extreme Islamic terrorists.
HAVE ISLAMIC STATE ACTUALLY BEEN DEFEATED?
No. They are still a thing, and military leaders say it’s going to take some time to defeat them. However, some progress is being made in the battle for Mosul, hence the noteworthiness of their destruction of the al-Nuri mosque. Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced in the fight, many have lost their lives, and thousands are trapped in the parts of the city where IS are still in control. Progress is also being made in Syria, particularly in Raqqa. But as US General Joseph Dunford said this week; “We ought not to confuse success in Raqqa and Mosul as something that means it’s the end of the fight. I think we should all be braced for a long fight.”
AND WHAT'S OUR ROLE IN ALL OF THIS?
Australia has provided air support in Iraq and Syria as part of an international Coalition led by the US. About 780 Australian Defence personnel have been deployed to the Middle East as part of Operation OKRA. Our participation in air patrols had been suspended this week after the US shot down a Syrian warplane, and Russia responded by deeming US coalition planes "airborne targets". We lifted our suspension yesterday and we’re back in the air.
SQUIZ THE REST
HANSON IN HOT WATER OVER AUTISTIC KIDS COMMENTS
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has been in a bit of hot water this week as a result of comments about teaching support for children with disabilities, specifically autism. She made the comments in relation to her support for the Gonski 2.0 schools funding reforms (which is now doneskis - it got through the Senate early this morning). We’ll give you the facts and you can come to your own conclusions:
She said on Wednesday:
"These kids have a right to an education by all means. But if there is a number of them, these children should go into a special classroom and be given that special attention because most of the time the teachers spend so much time on them.”
And here’s Hanson yesterday:
“To go out there and say that I want to stop children from going into classrooms is disgraceful, it is misleading… If they need special care and attention, then give it to them. You can actually have a special classroom to teach them in class hours. The rest of the time they are allowed to mix with the other kids in the playgrounds and sporting events.”
So she’s tweaked her language a bit but she’s not backing down. To say that PM Malcolm Turnbull, Labor leader Bill Shorten and pretty much everyone on social media disagreed with her is a bit of an understatement. Still, she maintains she’s been inundated with support.
TRUMP SEES A USE FOR SOLAR AFTER ALL…
Ever the deal-making businessman, Donald Trump has a cracking idea to pay for the wall he wants to build along the Mexican border - solar panelling the living daylights out of it. Then, not only will it produce energy to pay for itself, in Trump's estimation it will make it look a whole lot prettier. “Pretty good imagination, right?” he asked yesterday. Interesting given Trump is a self-avowed coal man…
BANKS WHACKED AGAIN
Normally a state government budget wouldn’t get much of our attention (because even we have our limits), but the banks-turned-government-piggy-banks yesterday received another whack, this time in South Australia. They've gone all Scott Morrison and announced the introduction of a bank levy that will raise $370 million over the next four years. The banks’ reaction is best characterised as "OMFG".
THE DRINKS ARE ON GEORGE CLOONEY
Multi-national drinks business Diageo announced yesterday they've bought a US$1 billion slice of Hollywood glamour. They’ve acquired tequila brand Casamigos from George Clooney, Randy Gerber (aka Mr Cindy Crawford) and property developer Mike Meldman. It was originally created four years ago by the friends to share with their inner circle, and it’s now the fastest growing tequila brand in the US. Is there anything that actor/humanitarian/aesthetically pleasing Clooney man can’t do?
REBEL KNOWS HER PR
Smart lady, this one. No doubt sensing a backlash about the large damages ask after her win against Woman’s Day publisher Bauer Media – like, $7 million worth of backlash – Rebel Wilson moved yesterday to neutralise any criticism by pledging to pass on any damages she wins to charity, scholarships and the Aussie film industry. Does that mean she might use the cash to make her own film here? Or is that wishful thinking?
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE’VE LIKED THIS WEEK
Just so we’re clear, we don’t spend a whole lot of time thinking abut the Kardashians. But #nojudgement if it’s your thing. Anyway, we found this article in the New Statesman interesting about how they make their coin.
Buttery roasted carrots - we’re even willing to attempt maths to convert the measurements and temperature. Yummo.
We loved the doco-movie on the demise of great singing talent Amy Winehouse (as tremendously sad as it was) and we’re partial to a bit of Whitney Houston (oh, I wanna dance with somebody!). So we’re keen to get along to see Whitney: Can I Be Me at some point this weekend. No judgement here either please.
SQUIZ THE DAY
First anniversary of the UK vote to Brexit
3.00pm (AEST) - Rugby Union - Wallabies v Italy - Brisbane
Start of voting in Papua New Guinea election (ends 8 July)
1.00am Monday (AEST) - Socceroos v Chile in the Confederation Cup - Russia
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