Squiz Today / 07 January 2019
Squiz Today – Monday, 7 January
"Can't believe I have to say this, but…”
Netflix has urged people to be safe after reports that fans of its holiday hit Bird Box are injuring themselves while filming their attempts to carry out tasks blindfolded. The entertainment company might need to broaden its communications strategy with 45 million subscriber accounts (that’s more than a third of their total subs) streaming the Sandra Bullock-led flick in the week after its 21 December release - a Netflix record.
MEXICAN WALL SHUTS DOWN AMERICAN GOVERNMENT
US President Donald Trump has floated the possibility of using his emergency powers to get his Mexican border wall funded as the partial US government shutdown enters a third week. Trump and the newly-powerful Democrats are miles apart on settling the issue that has led to a quarter of government services closing and left 800,000 federal employees off work or working without pay.
EASE ME BACK IN WHY DON’T YOU…
Would three easy dot points help?
• Trump is withholding support for a bill to fully fund the government until it includes US$5.6 billion for the wall. The White House and leading Democrats have been talking since 22 December leaving Trump lonely over Christmas.
• Some pundits say the border wall is now the ‘linchpin of Trump’s presidency’ as he throws everything at a high stakes game of fulfilling a signature campaign promise.
• More broadly, the whole world has changed since we last spoke. OK, that’s not entirely true. Last week, the Democrats (including dancing newbie Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) took control of the US House of Reps following last year's midterm elections. That changes the power dynamics when it comes to how US politics will be done for the next bit.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
More talks. Not much progress was made over the weekend. Some commentators have said while this shutdown has been more acute, it’s also been more subdued than those of the past. That’s because it’s happened over the Christmas and New Year period when many affected workers have been on leave. But a big real-world pinch-point will come on Friday when the first pay cycle will be missed if an agreement isn’t struck. That might up the tempo a bit…
SQUIZ THE REST
ESCAPE TO OZ
An 18yo Saudi woman fleeing her family and on her way to claim asylum in Australia has been held up in Bangkok. She says she was met off her flight from Dubai by a Saudi diplomat who confiscated her passport. A Thai official says Rahaf Mohammed Mutlaq Alqunun was escaping marriage, and she's taken to social media to say she will be killed by her family if she is forced to return. Reports say it's expected that she will be sent home today.
QUICK PROTEST NEWS WRAP
ST KILDA - The beachfront of the iconic Melbourne locale has been a focus for police with tensions building in recent weeks, and on Saturday anti-racism protestors clashed with far-right agitators/neo-Nazis. Independent Queensland Senator Fraser Anning stung taxpayers for the return flights south to attend. He was spotted with event organiser/United Patriots Front founder Blair Cottrell. PM Scott Morrison condemned the “ugly racial protests”.
BRAZIL - Protests in the city of Fortaleza have become the first big test for the newly-installed President Jair Bolsonaro. Three-hundred troops have been sent to quell what authorities say is an outbreak of criminal violence that broke out after a crackdown in gang-controlled prisons. Tip: remember Bolsonaro’s name - the bloke dubbed ‘Trump of the Tropics’ might come up in dispatches this year…
FRANCE - About 50,000 ‘yellow vest’ protestors took to streets across the country on Saturday maintaining the rage over Macron Government support for the richy rich. The ‘yellow vest’ movement - as likely to be constrained to 2018 as Baby Shark…
TAIWAN ASKS FOR HELP AGAINST CHINA
Beijing will use force, if necessary, to prevent Taiwan from becoming formally independent. That’s where Chinese President Xi Jinping's thinking is heading. No wonder then that Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen called for help on Saturday from the local and international community to resist the move towards unification. She says accepting Xi’s view would be a betrayal of the will of the people of her country.
MALAYSIAN KING ABDICATES
In a historic first, Malaysia’s king Sultan Muhammad V has given up the throne. The reason is not yet known, but the official statement says he hopes the country continues to maintain unity. Muhammad V’s private life has been under scrutiny lately - he went on medical leave in November and since then it's emerged that the 49yo has married a 25yo Russian beauty queen. A modern-day Edward and Wallis, perhaps? Malaysia has a unique approach to the monarchy - the top job is rotated between nine hereditary rulers every five years.
KNIGHT MOVES TO TODAY HOT SEAT
Predictions of an all-female host lineup for Nine’s Today breakfast show proved to be correct. Newsreader Deborah Knight will take newly-married-again Karl Stefanovic’s chair next to Georgie Gardner. Further changes include 60 Minutes reporter Tom Steinfort reading the news and ABC’s Brooke Boney taking on the entertainment round. Pundits say the moves are engineered to woo female viewers back to the program after losing to Seven’s Sunrise in last year’s ratings. The new look lineup kicks off on Monday next week.
THAT DOESN’T SOUND RIGHT…
Ninety-year-old American Carl Grove set a world record at last year’s Masters Track National Championships for cycling. And then he failed his drug test…
French woman Jeanne Calment was the world’s oldest person at 122yo when she died in 1997. But Russian scientists claim her daughter Yvette assumed her identity decades earlier. ‘Phooey’ says a French scientist…
A Rockhopper penguin is 5,000km off track. Picked up in WA, he should be on sub-Antarctic islands off New Zealand. Hope he gets a refund on his ticket...
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.00pm (AEDT) - 76th Golden Globe Awards - Los Angeles
UK Parliament resumes with Brexit the main topic of conversation
Anniversary of the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris. Twelve people were killed by Muslim extremists (2015)
Anniversary of the death of Edmund Barton, Australia's first prime minister (1920)
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