Squiz Today / 10 October 2019
Squiz Today – Thursday, 10 October
“I couldn't see us getting around to doing this again.”
Said Cold Chisel frontman Jimmy Barnes of yesterday’s announcement that the iconic band will tour this summer, possibly for the last time. Maybe John Farnham will join them for their next farewell tour?
DEVASTATING BLAZE MAY HAVE BEEN DELIBERATELY LIT
Authorities say they’ve identified “suspicious activity” near where a fire started that went on to destroy upwards of 15 homes around the northern NSW village of Rappsville late on Tuesday. Four fires tore through the area west of Casino incinerating more than 100,000 hectares of the drought-ravaged countryside as 40C temperatures and high winds made for dangerous conditions. Thankfully, favourable weather saw the fire threat ease yesterday.
THAT’S NOT GOOD...
It certainly isn’t. NSW Rural Fire Service superintendent Michael Brett yesterday said initial investigations point in that direction. Local police and the state’s arson squad will now take over the investigation. NSW Emergency Services Minister David Elliott didn’t hide his anger at the news. "It really is a bastard act if you are going to put your own community at risk," he said.
HOW ARE THE LOCALS FARING?
The good news is that despite the hazardous conditions, no fatalities have been reported. But one community worker said many residents would find it hard to recover. "We have got people who have had really rough lives who have lost literally everything," she told the ABC. Prime Minister Scott Morrison sympathised with the victims saying "Australians are with you." And just when you thought Twitter was a cesspit, this story of how it helped a woman save her dad is heartwarming.
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US-CHINA RELATIONS FURTHER STRAINED OVER UIGHUR ABUSE
The diplomatic dance between China and the US is more Elaine than Ginger this week - just as talks designed to get the trade war out of its stalemate restart today. America has taken steps to penalise Chinese organisations and officials over alleged abuses against ethnic Uighur and other Muslim populations in China. China called "foreign interference", but officials said the trade talks would proceed. Meanwhile, two high profile tweets in support of pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong have drawn strong responses from China. It’s not every day that basketball and pro-gaming are at the forefront of fraught foreign relations…
QUICK WORLD NEWS UPDATE
TURKEY STARTS 'OPERATION PEACE SPRING' - Turkey has kicked off its push south by bombing parts of northern Syria. Despite denials from the White House, the spokesman said a green light for the border incursion was given by US President Donald Trump during a weekend phone call between the leaders.
TEAM TRUMP DIGS IN ON IMPEACHMENT - Or to summarise the White House’s official response: "Talk to the hand because the face isn't participating in your partisan and unconstitutional inquiry under these circumstances.”
BREXIT “ESSENTIALLY IMPOSSIBLE” - You know that important document you're working on labelled 'finalfinalFINAL.doc'? Well, UK PM Boris Johnson might need to add another 'final' to the Brexit plan because his reworked proposal isn't getting a good reception from EU leaders. With a deal needing to be agreed in just a week, reports say Team Johnson reckons Brexit on 31 October is not gonna happen…
FOLAU CASE GETS WEIRDER
In an already unusual case, the controversy surrounding former Wallaby Israel Folau took a strange turn yesterday when it was revealed that the mother of a squad member infiltrated Folau’s church. Using a false name, Helen Petaia, mother of Jordan Petaia, used Facebook to find out more about the church's beliefs because, as she told the Herald Sun (paywall), she was concerned about Folau's religious influence on younger members of the team. Details of her contact with Folau's family was leaked to the media in July, leading to one member's sacking from a Catholic boarding school. Reports this morning say some of Folau's former teammates feel sympathy for him over Petaia's "extreme actions”. Jordan Petaia made his Test debut at the World Cup in Japan last weekend scoring a try against Uruguay.
And while we have you… Former top-ranked racehorse trainer Darren Weir was yesterday charged with nine offences, including six charges relating to animal cruelty. Weir is probably best known for his 2015 Melbourne Cup charge Prince of Penzance. The gelding was ridden by Michelle Payne, the first female jockey to win the prestigious race. The trainer and two associates will appear in court later this month.
CONSUMER CONFIDENCE TAKES A HIT
And that’s not what the Reserve Bank or Treasurer Josh Frydenberg would want to hear. Westpac chief economist Bill Evans said record low-interest rates have consumers worried. That’s not the effect those with their hands on the economic levers want - the cuts are meant to get us spending and investing. Also making us skittish are international economic events like the US-China trade war, Evans said. Labor’s Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers called on the government to get involved in shoring up confidence because it “should not be leaving the heavy lifting to the Reserve Bank.”
POOCHES AS LIFE-PRESERVERS
They’re a health tonic - and there’s research to prove it. Studies covering nearly 4 million people in Australia, Kiwiland, the United States, Canada, Scandinavia, and the UK were analysed, and researchers found dog ownership helps people live longer. Plus it can help people who had already had a heart attack or stroke to reduce their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. Which surely makes the toilet training and chewed shoes worthwhile…
And while we have you… The winner of the title of 2019’s Fat Bear… drumroll... is Holly. Hand that big, beautiful bear another salmon…
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