Squiz Today / 18 November 2019
Squiz Today – Monday, 18 November
"(W)e are not getting any younger.”
Said tennis great Roger Federer after Saturday’s ATP Finals semi-final loss to Stefanos Tsitsipas, who’s 17 years his junior. That sound you’re hearing might just be the changing of the guard in men’s tennis…
CHINESE TROOPS STEP UP IN HONG KONG
After five months of unrest and an extension of the battleground to include university campuses last week, Chinese troops made an appearance on the streets of Hong Kong on Saturday. Stepping out in shorts and t-shirts, People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers worked to dismantle demonstrators’ barricades. Chinese troops have ventured outside their Kowloon Tong barracks just once since the territory’s 1997 handover from the UK to China, and that was to clean up after a typhoon last year. Pro-democracy activists were spooked by the move, but undeterred.
WHAT’S HAPPENING THERE?
Another round of violent clashes on the weekend saw a police officer shot with an arrow. Police responded with a warning that they would use force in response, including bullets. The worst of yesterday’s violence centred around the Polytechnic University where masked students have barricaded themselves in. Petrol bombs and bricks were thrown by students, and tear gas and water cannons were used by police. The extension of violence to Hong Kong’s uni campuses comes after a rare statement from Chinese President Xi Jinping late last week saying the restoration of order was an urgent task for the territory.
China has denied Western Oz MP Andrew Hastie and Victorian Senator James Paterson entry because they have been critical of the Chinese government, its attempts to exert influence in our region, and of Beijing’s handling of the protests in Hong Kong. “The colonial days of Western powers are long gone,” a statement from the Chinese Embassy in Canberra said. For his part, Hastie said; "Let me be very clear, we will not repent for standing up for Australian sovereignty, our values, our interests, and for those who can't speak for themselves." That includes speaking up for persecuted Uighur Muslims and speaking out when China is stretching into areas Australia has considered to be in our backyard, like the Solomon Islands and Bougainville.
SQUIZ THE REST
FIRE AUTHORITIES WARN OF BAD WEEK AHEAD
The Rockmelons got it right… More than 80 fires are burning in Queensland, with extreme fire conditions expected mid-week for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt. A big hail storm hit the Sunshine Coast and parts of Brisbane late yesterday which didn't make emergency workers' or residents' lives any easier… South of the border and more than 60 fires are burning across NSW, most are uncontained, and they are still concentrated in the Mid-North and North Coasts. The state's Rural Fire Service confirmed 412 homes have been lost already this bushfire season - more than the past three bushfire seasons combined. A $1 million donation from billionaire James Packer will help efforts. And firefighters were happy to see the arrival of a Very Large Air Tanker. Also to note: banished Wallaby Israel Folau has had his say about why these fires are so severe.
AUSSIES WITH ISLAMIC STATE TIES GET SHORT SHRIFT
Our government isn’t showing much interest in an offer of assistance from American authorities to get the 60 Australian family members of Islamic State fighters out of the al-Hawl camp in Syria. A spokesperson for Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton maintained the line that Australian officials will not be put at risk to recover them. Kamalle Dabboussy, a Sydney man with family members at the camp, is urging action with winter arriving soon putting the women and children at further risk. Also calling for movement is the Turkish Government - it wants to deport up to three captured IS prisoners home to Oz - something our government isn’t keen on.
Islamic State’s done and dusted, right? Nope. Check out our latest Squiz Shortcut for a quick rundown on who they are and what experts say could be next for one of the worst terror groups the world has ever seen.
WILL.I.AM SAYS NO HE WON’T…
...put up with what he says was a racist attack. Taking a Qantas flight from Brisbane to Sydney on Saturday, the Black Eyed Peas singer tweeted his frustrations with an “overly aggressive flight attendant” whose name he disclosed to his 12.8 million followers. Qantas said the whole thing was a “misunderstanding” that was “exacerbated by will.i.am wearing noise-cancelling headphones" and not hearing a request to put his laptop away. Race had nothing to do with it, the airline said. The star was unapologetic tweeting "we are supposed to call out wrongdoings so we can have a safer, more compassionate world". Birthing a new kind of #metoo movement, The Veronicas were quick to weigh-in after they had their own issues on a Qantas flight in September… It’s been a big few days for the airline's PR team with an emergency landing at a military base in Kiwiland, and completing its first London-to-Sydney direct milk run.
DUKE OF MEDIA HAZARD
The reviews are in and Prince Andrew, the Queen’s third-born, did not wow the critics with his BBC TV interview. If the aim was to hose down the negative coverage on his association with disgraced American financier Jeffrey Epstein (who took his own life while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges), he failed. "One of the single worst PR moves in recent history," said the Sunday Times. That could be because the Duke of York talked a lot about the misery the scandal has caused him and his sweat glands, pundits said. Prince Charles and Camilla must be happy to be on the other side of the world - but where was our drop-in?
DANCE FOR ME, DANCE FOR ME, DANCE FOR ME, OH, OH, OH
Aussie Toni Watson (who performs as Tones and I) has broken the ARIA singles chart record holding the #1 position for 16 consecutive weeks with her hit Dance Monkey. That makes it the most successful song in the chart’s history surpassing a 15-week run by Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You in 2017. The catchy track is currently top of the pops in Norway, Switzerland, Austria, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, England and Germany. And the busker-turned-hit-buster is also slated to appear on Jimmy Fallon’s show in the US this week. Keep on dancin’...
GWYNETH’S GOOPY GIFTS
Not to be outdone by Oprah’s favourite things, Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle juggernaut has some Christmas gift ideas of its own. Chanel for kids? Of course… A $1,000 cat gym? You bet… And something spicy that’s not a great idea to open on your work devices? You got it…
SQUIZ THE DAY
Craig McLachlan’s assault and harassment trial kicks off - Melbourne
Davis Cup Finals kick off with 18 nations competing for the famed tennis title, including Australia - Madrid
Anniversary of the Jonestown Massacre. More than 900 people died in Jonestown, Guyana after cult leader Jim Jones urged them to kill themselves by drinking cyanide-laced grape punch (1978)
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