Squiz Today / 13 February 2020
Squiz Today – Thursday, 13 February
“What monetary value could you ever place on meeting the right person?”
Kansas City man Jeff Gebhart can answer his own question: US$25,000. He’s made a public appeal for help to find Ms Right. Because nothing says happy pre-Valentines Day like turning love into a cash reward…
INDIGENOUS AUSTRALIANS CONTINUE TO FALL BEHIND
There was disappointment all-round yesterday as the 12th 'Closing The Gap' report card was delivered to the federal parliament. Two measures are considered to be on track with more Indigenous kids are receiving preschool education, and more going through to Year 12. But five other measures are not being met, with particular concern about health and employment outcomes. For example, the Indigenous child mortality rate was twice the rate for non-Indigenous children in 2018. And the Indigenous employment rate was almost 50% compared to 75% for non-Indigenous Australians.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
PM Scott Morrison said the report shows a "top-down, government-knows-best" approach has failed. "Closing the Gap has never really been a partnership with Indigenous people. We perpetuated an ingrained way of thinking passed down over two centuries and more, and it was the belief that we knew better than our Indigenous peoples. We don't." Labor leader Anthony Albanese agreed that things have to change. "We cannot keep coming back here, year in, year out, wringing our hands," he said.
WHAT’S GOING TO BE DONE?
There’s consensus that a new, community-led approach to addressing the inequality has to be found. Indigenous Affairs Minister Ken Wyatt has been tasked with the job, alongside respected Indigenous health administrator and advocate Pat Turner. It’s hoped that new Closing the Gap targets could be signed off by June. Turner said she hoped the process would be a "circuit-breaker" because "for the first time, there will be actual Aboriginal involvement in designing this process."
SQUIZ THE REST
MCCORMACK VOWS TO FIGHT
Last week’s leadership vote for control of the Nationals has not calmed the farm… In fact, things are getting worse for Nats leader and Deputy PM Michael McCormack with information about the party’s affairs leaking like a rusty old tank. Far from putting the failed leadership challenge behind them, former leader Barnaby Joyce (who will launch his own podcast today…) and his group of narky Nats have wreaked havoc this week. Many believe that includes leaking details on arrangements that would have seen taxpayers fund MPs travel and accommodation to attend the party's 100th-anniversary celebrations. "I was sent here to do a job, I wasn't sent here to lead a rabble, a de-stabilised rabble," McCormack said yesterday. And yet...
COVID-19 CASES ON CRUISE SHIP COMPOUND
Four Australians are among 40 new coronavirus cases from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship docked near Tokyo. That brings the total number of confirmed cases on board to 175, including 15 Aussies. The ship is due to finish its mandatory two-week quarantine period on 19 February, but it remains unclear whether passengers and crew who came into contact with those who were infected will have to undergo an additional period of quarantine. Health Minister Greg Hunt announced a mental health line for Aussies stuck on the ship, which is due to launch today. As for a numbers update: more than 1,100 have died from Covid-19, most in mainland China, while the number of infections is more than 45,000 worldwide.
TURKEY SHOOTS DOWN SYRIAN CHOPPER
Tensions between Syria and Turkey continue to escalate. Reports say Turkey shot down a Syrian military helicopter in the country's northwest earlier this week where Syria is hoping to claim the last rebel-held territory from its nine-year-long civil war. Turkey wants Syria to back off because of the refugee crisis in the Idlib province that will push more displaced people over its border. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it would continue to fight Syria’s efforts to gain control of the area. He is due to talk to Russia’s President Vladamir Putin - a key backer of the Syrian government - about the unstable situation.
SANDERS TAKES AN EARLY LEAD
First things first: after the debacle that was the Iowa caucus, the New Hampshire Democratic primary went off without a hitch. To the result: Senator Bernie Sanders cemented his place as a strong contender to go up against Donald Trump in November's presidential election with the left-winger claiming 25.7% of the vote. Moderate Pete Buttigieg came in a close second with 24.4%. Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota finished in third place (19.8%), trailed distantly by progressive Senator Elizabeth Warren (9.2%), and former Vice President Joe Biden (8.4%). Questions are now being asked about Warren and Biden’s chances, but there is still a long way to go, and anything can (and probably will) happen in the race to the White House.
WILD WEATHER THE NEW NORMAL…
Or does it just feel that way? Australia's eastern seaboard is still recovering from last weekend's massive storms, but big swells created by Tropical Cyclone Uesi are set to batter the coastline again from today. The category-three system will weaken as it travels southward from New Caledonia with the biggest impact felt from Queensland’s Fraser Island to NSW’s Port Macquarie. Not so lucky is World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, which sits directly in Uesi’s path. The weather bureau said Uesi is predicted to produce waves of up to 5.5m, which isn’t great for coastal erosion. Parts of the Sunshine Coast and Darling Downs/Granite Belt districts are already dealing with big floods.
THE VERY BEST DOGGO OF ALL
Forget New York Fashion Week - the most important event in the city that never sleeps yesterday was the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. And while there wasn't a catwalk, there was the all-important judging ring where Siba the standard poodle (whose hairdo reminds us of an old neighbour who was into jive dancing) reigned supreme taking out the Best In Show title. Her pre-game prep: woofing down a chicken burger from Maccas. You go girl… Bourbon the whippet finished second. Missing out was crowd favourite Daniel the golden retriever - just like every goldie has in the history of the show. Also making the final was Bono the Havanese, Wilma the boxer, Conrad the Shetland sheepdog, and Vinny the wire fox terrier. Check them out in motion here. And there’s a mega-gallery of the pampered pooches here.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Anniversary of the bombing of Dresden by Allied forces (1945)
Anniversary of British boy band Take That officially announcing that they are disbanding, prompting the UK Government to set up counselling phone lines (1996). And it's former member Robbie Williams' birthday (1974)
Anniversary of Kevin Rudd's apology speech to Stolen Generations (2008)
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