Squiz Today / 10 April 2017
Squiz Today – Monday, 10 April
TRUMP'S SHOW OF FORCE
Since we last spoke, US President Donald Trump authorised a missile attack on Syria’s Shayrat Airfield. The strike was in response to the chemical attack last week that killed at least 87 civilian adults and children. And yesterday a US Navy strike group started moving towards the Korean Peninsula in a show of force provoked by ongoing missile trials by North Korean leader Kim Jung-un. Reports say the US fleet was due to visit Australia but was diverted north.
THAT’S PRETTY HEAVY FOR A MONDAY…
Soz, but it’s pretty important. Three things to know on Syria:
1) Trump has muscled up. The Syrian strike was the first military action of Donald Trump’s presidency and the first time the US has specifically targeted the Assad regime in the country’s six-year civil war. It’s all in stark contrast to Trump’s campaign position of being against ‘Team America: World Police’.
2) Any bromance Trump might have had with Russian President Vladimir Putin is probably over. Russia supports the Assad regime in Syria and they are hostile to the US intervention. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is heading to Moscow later this week after the G-7 Foreign Ministers meeting in Italy starting today.
3) Team USA isn't quite on the same page. Tillerson and US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley appeared on the Sunday TV programs with differing key messages. Tillerson said defeating Islamic State remained the priority; Haley emphasised Assad’s removal as key to a solution. And in the White House, chief strategist Steve Bannon and adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner met to work out their own peaceful solution.
AND WHAT’S THE GO ON NORTH KOREA?
Good question. Trump met with China’s President Xi Jinping on Friday, and while they didn’t agree specific action on North Korea, officials said it was a good ‘getting to know you’ session. Reports say Xi recognised the seriousness of the situation in North Korea and there was a commitment to work together. But since then US warships are on root (yes, we know it’s en route…) to the area and it’s a situation that’s unfolding.
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TERROR ATTACKS IN EGYPT AND SWEDEN
Coptic Christians were targeted in Egypt yesterday with two church blasts killing 29 in Tanta and 16 in Alexandria. Reports say Islamic State have claimed responsibility. The head of the church was attending a Palm Sunday mass at the church in Alexandria but was unhurt. And in another ‘low-tech’ terror attack, a truck was used to run down pedestrians in Stockholm on Friday killing four people and injuring ten. Authorities arrested a 39yo man from Uzbekistan; he was an asylum seeker whose application for residency had been rejected in December.
TURNBULL TAKES IT ON THE ROAD
PM Malcolm Turnbull has already swung through Papua New Guinea and is now in India. While in PNG, talk turned to the October closure of the Manus Island detention centre. Some remaining detainees will head to the US under the deal that made Trump cranky earlier this year. The remaining detainees will be settled in PNG, according to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton. In India, Turnbull will meet with PM Narendra Modi - reports this morning say trade talks are top of mind. He’ll also meet with executives from Adani, owners of the proposed multi-billion-dollar central Queensland Carmichael coal mine who are currently seeking approvals from the Queensland government. It’s a project that continues to stir, as Prince sang, con-tro-ver-sey.
COLD AND WET
Look people, just a few weeks ago you were complaining it was too hot, then too windy/wet and now we’re too cold. Melbourne, Geelong, Ballarat and surrounding regions received a cold blast yesterday and it snowed in the Victorian Alps. Tough going if you stick by the rule that you can’t put the heater on until Anzac Day. And up in Rockhampton, floodwaters are receding. The local mayor said it has been “a fairly good flood”. We take that to mean a lot of beer was consumed at those flood parties - problem is the hangover/clean up will hover for a while yet.
QUICK SPORT NEWS WRAP
C’mon Aussie! Australia was triumphant over the US in the Davis Cup quarterfinals hosted in Brisbane over the weekend. The all-important Nick Kyrgios temperament report: he held it together. It’s only the second time in the last 11 years that Australia has made it this far in the competition. Next round is in September.
Younger sisters rejoice! Bronte Campbell last night beat older sister Cate to win her first 100m freestyle national title. Cate is the world record holder and clocked a fast heat time but was unable to back up for the final - she's training part-time ATM and won't swim at the world titles in July.
The final round of The Masters golf tournament is in progress at the time of sending. Aussie Adam Scott is just three shots off the leaders Sergio Garcia from Spain and Brit Justin Rose. You can follow the scores here.
TRENDING NOW – A VERY PREGNANT LADY
She’s the hottest thing on the interwebs right now - April the pregnant giraffe. April lives in Harpursville NY, she’s in the final stages of her 15-month pregnancy, and she has serious stage fright. That's totally understandable given she has a million Facebook followers, half a million Youtube subscribers and an eager New York media watching her every move. One Facebook follower posted: “I know April’s bowel habits, I know how many spots she has, I know her routine. Please April, for my own sanity, have this baby soon.” She’s about to drop her calf (maybe) so why not add additional pressure by watching her here.
SQUIZ THE DAY
PM Malcolm Turnbull visits India
ABS data releases - Housing Finance (Feb); Building Approvals (Feb)
G-7 Foreign Ministers Meeting (Lucca, Italy)
170th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Pulitzer, influential US newspaper editor and publisher (he prize is named after him, and he was central to getting the Statue of Liberty up in New York Harbor)
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