Squiz Today / 28 August 2017
Squiz Today – Monday, 28 August
That’s the bill for French President Emmanuel Macron’s makeup services in his first three months in office. Because he’s worth it? Still, that’s better than his predecessor Francois Hollande who had a personal barber on the books for €110,000 a year. Pretty hurts (the French taxpayer)...
PRESSURE ON AUSTRALIAN-BASED ASYLUM SEEKERS TO LEAVE
About 70 single male asylum seekers currently living in Australia will lose access to welfare payments this week and have three weeks to find their own accommodation. Those who do not find alternative accommodation will be removed from Australia. In keeping with successive governments’ promise to never accept asylum seekers who have attempted to come to Australia by boat, the Turnbull Government is upping the pressure to have the group leave ASAP or to support themselves until they are in a position to leave.
HANG ON, I THOUGHT EVERYONE WHO ATTEMPTED TO COME TO AUSTRALIA BY BOAT WENT TO OFFSHORE DETENTION?
Reports say there are about 400 asylum seekers and their children who have been transferred to Australia from Manus Island and Nauru detention centres for medical reasons at some point over the last few years. Most have sought to stay in Australia permanently since arriving here, and the government is making to clear that they’re having none of it. The Daily Telegraph today quotes Immigration Minister Peter Dutton saying; “In some cases, this con has been going on for years, costing the Australian taxpayer tens of thousands of dollars for each individual and seeing them receive more welfare, including housing, than pensioners who have worked here all their lives.”
WHAT’S THE REACTION BEEN?
The Coalition isn’t making any apologies for its stance. Labor leader Bill Shorten described it as; “…just hurting vulnerable and sick people for the sake of it.” The Greens said they were seeking legal advice on the government’s use of a new visa category that allows the affected asylum seekers to be in the community without support before ‘final departure’. Watch out for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton getting around the media today to reinforce the government’s position.
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HURRICANE HARVEY BRINGS LIFE-THREATENING FLOODS
At least two people have been killed as a result of yuuuge winds and flash flooding in Texas as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Crossing the coast as a Category 4 hurricane (Category 5 is considered the worst) on Saturday, Harvey has been described as the worst disaster the state has ever seen. Houston received a record amount of rain (about 25 inches/635 millimetres) and some parts of Texas received twice that much over the weekend. Winds destroyed buildings and roads and caused power outages across the state. And Harvey is not done yet - reports say there is more rain and catastrophic flooding to come. One feathered resident found a safe place to shelter at least…
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BARCELONA MARCHES AGAINST TERROR – King Felipe became the first Spanish sovereign to ever participate in a march when he joined an estimated 500,000 people in a public show of solidarity against terrorism on the weekend. Spain's recent terror attacks left 16 people dead (revised up following the death of one of the injured on the weekend). The sister of two of the suspected terrorists spoke against extreme Islam at a rally in Ripoll, the town where many of the men lived.
NORTH KOREA’S TESTING WEEKEND – A barrage of missiles were fired by North Korea on Saturday in what appeared to be another test. Believed to be short-range ballistic missiles, some failed but others flew about 250km before landing short of Japan’s territorial waters. In a case of speaking too soon, the US last week praised North Korea on their restraint in the face of annual military exercises with South Korea.
VIOLENCE OVER INDIAN SECT LEADER CONVICTION - More than 30 people are dead and 100 were injured in clashes in northern India after sect leader Gurmeet Ram Singh was convicted on Friday of raping two of his followers. Singh is the leader of Dera Sacha Sauda which claims to have 60 million followers across the world. His Wikipedia entry describes Singh as “an Indian guru, music producer, actor and director.” Authorities expect more violence with Singh facing sentencing today. PM Narendra Modi urged “everyone to maintain peace.”
RECORD FLU SEASON NOT MUCH TO CELEBRATE
We’re motivated by achievement, but this isn’t a great record to have. Reports say we’re about 100 confirmed influenza cases away from breaking the record for the highest number of cases in a year. Boo! There have been more than 100,000 confirmed cases this year (which rules out man-flu so you know it’s real…) but it’s probably higher with many not presenting to doctors or hospitals for treatment. Four strains of flu have ganged-up this season, which seems a bit OTT. The flu season ends in September so knock on wood (or even better, wash your hands…) if you’ve been lucky enough to avoid it so far.
ROLLS CLOSED AS SAME SEX MARRIAGE CAMPAIGNING GEARS UP
The Australian Electoral Commission confirmed 90,000 Australians added their names to the electoral roll since the announcement of a postal vote on same-sex marriage. The roll is now closed with the paperwork starting to be sent to voters in a couple of weeks’ time. Campaigning has started to ramp up with an estimated 20,000 marching in Melbourne on Saturday in support of the ‘yes’ vote. Church-based ‘no’ campaigners have sent letters to parishioners - the Archbishop of Melbourne Denis Hart is the latest. And police are investigating an attack on the cars of the cast and audience of a theatre production of gay love story Holding the Man on Saturday night in Sydney’s Lane Cove (not usually a known hotbed of social unrest…). PM Malcolm Turnbull has pleaded with both sides to be respectful.
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GO DASHA! - Australia’s Dasha Gavrilova won her first WTA Tour final taking out the Connecticut Open in a thrilling three-setter. Great preparation for the US Open (we hope she’s match-fit rather than exhausted…) which starts today. And while we have you, Andy Murray has ruled himself out of the grand slam event with a persistent dodgy hip.
GO DIAMONDS! – Australia’s netball side beat England 54-50 in the Netball Quad Series opener in Brissie on Saturday.
GO MAYWEATHER! – The old bloke Floyd Mayweather Jr beat Irish upstart Conor McGregor with a TKO in the 10th round of easily the most hyped fight for a while. Turns out TKO is a boxing term, not just a Justin Timberlake song. Who knew!
REF TO BLAME FOR WALLABIES LOSS – We were ahead 17-0 after 15 minutes but went down 35-29. "I am not angry. I am just very, very disappointed,” said Aussie coach Michael Cheika in a swipe at the referees. (We were always very alarmed when our parents said that…).
BIG WEEK FOR REMEMBERING DIANA
Ready to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana on Thursday? We’re choosing quality over quantity (for once…) and so we offer what we reckon are the two picks of the bunch. BBC’s landmark doco Diana, 7 Days is on Channel 7 tonight at 8.45pm. It has interviews people critical to managing the aftermath of her untimely death, including her close family and others like former PM Tony Blair and press secretary Alistair Campbell. And second, this piece from Man Booker Award winner Hilary Mantel is really worth a read.
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ABS Data Release - Population by Age and Sex, Regions of Australia, 2016
Start of US Open Tennis - on until 10 September
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