Squiz Today / 28 April 2017
Squiz Today – Friday, 28 April
100 DAYS OF PRESIDENT TRUMP
Tomorrow the Trump presidency hits the 100-day mark. While he has the lowest approval rating of any new president at this point of his presidency since polls were recorded (44% approval rate), you’ve got to admit he’s breaking the presidential mould. We liked this summary from Politico: “It was a reality-show circus of OMG, WTF and sometimes LOL, and it was all supposed to be disqualifying… But none of it disqualified him… In fact, he has violated Washington norms so casually and constantly that his norm-breaking is becoming normalised.”
WHAT’S GONE WELL? AND ARE THERE OPPORTUNITIES FOR IMPROVEMENT?
Yes, let’s be constructive. Because quite frankly there’s a lot of Negative Nellies out there. Just Google ‘Trump 100 Days’ and you’ll see what we mean. This short and sharp report card gets to the point. In summary:
Gone well – the confirmation of Justice Neil Gorsuch to the US Supreme Court; gaining support for pro-business executive orders and getting industry to prioritise creating American investment and jobs; installing a credible economic and defence Cabinet team; got Republican support for his handling of the Syrian strike and China State visit.
Opportunities for improvement – no new significant legislative changes (think Obamacare, tax reform, infrastructure packages); he’s not reached out to be a President for those who didn't vote for him; he’s not ‘grown’ in the role and finds it hard to ‘get over it’; failure to articulate ‘the vision thing’.
SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
More of the same, we suspect. And by ‘same’, we mean continue to expect the unexpected. The 100-day milestone is something the President himself has dismissed as unimportant, but he’s also someone who understands the importance of good PR, so has hustled this week to tie-up some loose ends to make the deadline. And he’s shown that he can move towards the pragmatic – it was confirmed yesterday the US wouldn’t move to abandon the North American Free Trade Agreement (with Canada and Mexico) “at this time” but it will be renegotiated. There will be many ups and downs, but it certainly won’t be boring.
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NORTH KOREA UPDATE
The US and South Korea have agreed they will pursue further sanctions if North Korea oversteps the red line again. It’s left some to wonder what could be imposed, but it’s a sign of their resolve and cooperation nonetheless. Progress is also being made on the THAAD missile defence system. China are really unhappy about it (because its radar can penetrate their sovereign territory) but the US and South Korea are adamant it’s necessary as a protection against nuclear missile-hungry North Korea.
TEN NETWORK HITS FINANCIAL SKIDS
Consider this for context: at its peak in 2005 a share would have cost you $32.50. Today they’re worth 36 cents. Australia’s third commercial television network had to face the investor music yesterday with poor results for the first half of its financial year. Shares (already down 50% this year) took a 19% hit yesterday following news they lost $232 million for the half, significantly in part due to falling advertising revenue. News also that a $200 million loan from Lachlan Murdoch, James Packer and Bruce Gordon might not be extended past its repayment date at the end of the year was a double whammy for the network.
QUICK INTERNATIONAL NEWS WRAP
Israel yesterday stopped short of confirming it was responsible for a targeted strike on what was thought to be a Hezbollah arms depot off Syria’s Damascus airport. Israel regards Hezbollah as its biggest threat and is thought to have targeted arms shipments many times in recent years.
A terror suspect has been arrested outside the Parliament precinct in London. Police already had their eye on the man and while his intentions are unknown, he was arrested after being found with two large knives.
French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has been accused of misusing European Parliament funds to the tune of €5 million. Le Pen is accused of hiring personal staff using their funds. If true, that’s naughty. Le Pen has refused to cooperate with investigations which have been going on for some months.
HIMALAYAN TREKKER FOUND ALIVE AFTER 47 DAYS MISSING
Frankly it’s amazing this bloke was found alive. Taiwan national Liang Sheng Yueh (19yo) was found at 2,600m altitude in Nepal after 47 days missing. Sadly his girlfriend Liu Chen Chun (also 19yo) was found dead nearby. It’s thought she died only three days before they were found. Liang lost more than 30kg and is in hospital in Kathmandu.
BERT BACK IN HOSPITAL
Aussie TV icon Bert Newton is back in hospital with complications from pneumonia. Newton missed the Logies last weekend due to ill health. The 78yo is said to have a persistent cough that he’s been unable to shake. Get well Bert!
FRIDAY LITES – THREE THINGS WE’VE LIKED THIS WEEK
Vanity Fair has made no secret of their dislike for Donald Trump. This profile on Melania Trump and the Trump marriage is interesting reading, but keep that in mind. Fun fact - the Trumps spent last Thanksgiving with romance model Fabio and boxing promoter Don King. As you do…
We’ve noticed a lot of online buzz since Easter about the new Netflix drama 13 Reasons Why. Experts, schools and parents are worried the show promotes suicide. Point taken. We also know parents who say they found it insightful but won’t let their kids watch it… So watch out for the new hot meme “welcome to your tape”. It’s all explained here.
Thought you’d seen it all when it comes to lifestyles of the rich and famous? You haven’t. Nicole Richie has a chicken coop styled to match her house. Mic drop.
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Releases - Census of Population and Housing; Disability, Ageing and Carers 2015 (summary of findings)
Opening of 'Van Gogh and the Seasons' Exhibition - National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Thredbo Jazz Festival
21st anniversary of the Port Arthur Massacre
World Day for Safety and Health at Work
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