Squiz Today / 26 August 2019
Squiz Today – Monday, 26 August
"This is definitely a milestone in our long and eventful history.”
Said enduring rock legends The Rolling Stones about NASA’s naming of a Martian rock after the band. How did that come about? When the space agency's InSight lander touched down on Mars last year, they noticed stone. It was rolling…
G7 SHOWDOWN OVER COMPETING PRIORITIES
Issues: they've got a few… The leaders of some of the world’s biggest economies have gathered at the Atlantic seaside resort of Biarritz, France to discuss pressing political and economic headwinds. But with some big personalities prioritising their big issues, observers say the exercise demonstrates it’s increasingly hard for once-close allies to find common ground.
WHAT YOU TALKIN' 'BOUT, WILLIS?
Three examples illustrate the point.
• As host of the meeting, French President Emmanuel Macron was determined to focus on issues like climate change, gender inequality and development in Africa. Unnamed American officials were critical saying the agenda prioritised Macron’s domestic political concerns.
• Instead of backing off, Macron leaned into a showdown with US President Donald Trump with a special 1:1 lunch on Saturday to discuss “a lot of crises”, including Iran. And when Iran’s Foreign Minister turned upyesterday at Macron’s invitation, things are said to have got a bit confusing…
• Meanwhile, Trump wants to prioritise trade and the global economy. Friday’s escalation in the trade war with China, including a threat to "order" US companies to stop doing business with China, set the scene for G7 leaders to direct their misgivings towards Trump's approach. And while he appeared to soften his 'up go the tariffs’ stance overnight, his people said the only thing he regrets is not going harder.
DID MORRISON GET ANYTHING OUT OF IT?
Other than a slap-up dinner? PM Scott Morrison, there as an observer, scored meetings with Trump and Japan’s PM Abe Shinzo. And a priority is today’s meeting with UK PM Boris Johnson to accelerate negotiations for a post-Brexit free trade agreement with the UK. Morrison also continues to push for a global voluntary code to tackle violent and extremist online content, although there are doubts about America’s support for it. Still, Jenny Morrison looks to be having a nice (but surreal) time…
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MACRON THREATENS TRADE SANCTIONS OVER AMAZON FIRES
As fires continue to burn in the Amazon rainforest at a record rate, President Macron called on G7 leaders to help fight the blazes. He also raised the prospect of blocking a massive trade deal between the European Union and South American countries as a way to pressure Brazil's far-right leader President Jair Bolsonaro to protect the region known as the "lungs of the planet". However, Germany’s Angela Merkel and UK PM Boris Johnson said that was a step too far… Despite saying Brazil lacked the resources to fight the fires, Bolsonaro has called in the military. It’s his anti-environment stance that’s been blamed for inciting farmers to start many of the record 78,000-plus fires recorded this year. Meanwhile, a review of celebrities’ socials on the issue showed many were behind the times…
HONG KONG CLASHES ESCALATE
After massive peaceful protests last weekend, Hong Kong administrators had hoped the violence that punctuated previous weekends were behind them. But this weekend’s protests were some of the most violent so far with a police officer firing a live round - a first since the protests started three months ago. Water cannons were also deployed in another first. Volleys of tear gas were fired, and 29 people were arrested by police at anti-government protestors on Saturday night. The demonstrations calling for democratic reform in the territory have plunged the city into its biggest political crisis since its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997, and show no sign of letting up. Cue more speculation about China’s military intervening…
ANDREW GOES AGAIN ON EPSTEIN
Last week, it was a statement from Buckingham Palace denying that Prince Andrew knew about the repugnant activities of dead hedge fund millionaire and accused child abuser and trafficker Jeffrey Epstein that got a lot of attention. This weekend, the Palace released a statement from the Duke of York himself. "During the time I knew him, I saw him infrequently and probably no more than only once or twice a year," he said. Which means they met up to 20 times. Also admitting to staying in a “number of his residences”, Prince Andrew said he did not “see, witness or suspect any behaviour of the sort that subsequently led to his arrest and conviction." Former top cop Roman Quaedvlieg has done a forensic on the statement. And for extra reading, this column got a lot of attention on the weekend.
SPORTING UPS AND DOWNS
Well, that was a bit dramatic… England has won the third test match in the Ashes series by one wicket. English batsman Ben Stokes put on 135 runs to help his team catch Australia's 359 run lead in their final innings making it the biggest successful run chase in the team's history. And mistakes - we made a few… The series is now level at 1-1. And at the other end of the scale, the Boomers did something they had not been able to do in our 26 previous games against Team USA (or any nation had been able to do in their last 78 games) - we beat 'em. The score: 98-94. And you can say what you like about America not having its dream team on the court. We. Beat. 'Em. Bring on the World Cup - it starts in China on Saturday.
KEEPING UP WITH THE ONLINE BUZZ
STANDING ON SOLID ROCK - Or rather, sitting… Footage released in advance of Nine’s A Current Affair tonight showing One Nation leader Pauline Hanson climbing Uluru, and being unable to get down, did the rounds over the weekend. This young woman also attracted some likes… Hanson was there because she doesn’t support the sacred site’s closure to climbers on 26 October.
GOOGLING THE WIZARD OF OZ - The tech giant did something pretty cool to mark the classic musical fantasy 80th anniversary…
BALLET FOR BOYS - Or for the hashtag conscious, #ballet4boys. It started trending after a host on Good Morning America laughed at the news that 6yo Prince George is doing ballet. But to us, it just looks like an opportunity to post footage of Mikhail Baryshnikov. Not that we’re complaining…
SQUIZ THE DAY
Company Earnings Results - Boral; Fortescue Metals
US Women's Equality Day - it’s the 99th anniversary of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote coming into effect
Tennis - Start of the US Open
Governor-General David Hurley’s birthday (1953)
Anniversary of Captain James Cook setting sail from England on board HMS Endeavour (1768)
Tuesday 3.00am (AEST) - US Open Tennis - Ash Barty plays her opening match on centre court
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