Squiz Today / 21 September 2017
Squiz Today – Thursday, 21 September
“I just love Costco. I’m there a few times a week. Where else would I want to get married to the person I love, in the place I love, with the people I love around me?”
Umm, a nice garden maybe? But Sue Berkeley loves Costco. So she will wed Eli Bob at the superstore in Sydney on Saturday. The food court has even brought back a former menu item that Sue loves: Korean barbecue meat. They’ll become just the second couple in the world to be married in a Costco store. Each to their own...
MEXICO CITY QUAKE KILLS 225; MARIA THRASHING PUERTO RICO
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico City and the surrounding region yesterday, 32 years to the day since a major earthquake rocked the city. At least 225 people are dead including 20 school children (and 30 remain missing) who were killed when their school collapsed. Emergency workers and citizens are working to clear the rubble from more than 40 locations where buildings toppled. More than 2 million are without electricity, phone lines have been cut, and people were warned to be on the lookout for broken gas lines. It follows a much larger earthquake earlier this month that was further south and killed 90, although experts say they aren’t connected. President Peña Nieto has declared a state of emergency and has called in the military to help with the search and rescue effort. The city had just held an earthquake safety drill to mark the anniversary of the devastating quake of 1985, as they do every year.
WHAT HAPPENED IN 1985?
A magnitude 8 earthquake devastated Mexico City of 19 September 1985 killing an estimated 10,000 people and injuring another 30,000 when more than 400 buildings collapsed and thousands of others were significantly damaged. The true death toll was never confirmed because many bodies were never recovered. It was said to be one of the most intense quakes recorded in the world at the time. Lessons were learned about buildings and at-risk sites, but reports says millions of people continue to live in some of the most dangerous areas - remember Mexico City is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Citizens in this part of the world are used to tremors and even earthquakes, but yesterday’s was powerful.
WHAT IS IT WITH NATURAL DISASTERS OVER THERE ATM?
Yep. Puerto Rico has received a direct hit from Hurricane Maria. Winds of more than 250km/hr have knocked out the power for the whole island. Maria had already flattened the island of Dominica and the French island of Guadeloupe. Puerto Rico, which is is US territory and home to more than 3.3 million citizens, has not taken a direct hit from a Category 4 hurricane in decades. High winds, torrential rain, flooding and tidal surges are ongoing dangers. Maria is expected to skim the Dominican Republic tomorrow, hit the Turks and Caicos Islands on Friday, and then head out to sea. She’s a big ‘un…
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ABBOTT RAMPS UP THE POWER PLAY
Former PM Tony Abbott really likes the Glen Campbell classic song Wichita Lineman. “Searchin’ in the sun for another overload” was the lyric that came to mind as he hit the media this week to amp up the pressure on PM Malcolm Turnbull over electricity prices and climate policy. Abbott called government support for renewable energy “unconscionable” and it was further reported that he and other Coalition MPs could even vote against their own side when a clean energy target comes before the Parliament later this year. Turnbull said "we need to make sure that we get the energy market right this time" meaning Abbott’s had a turn and didn't fix it. All this unfolded as the competition regulator Rod Sims pretty much endorsed the Turnbull government’s multi-pronged approach to secure the reliability, sustainability and affordability of our electricity supply. Expect a few more weeks of this.
VICTORIA AND NSW CONSIDER EUTHANASIA LAWS
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews introduced assisted dying legislation into state Parliament yesterday saying the proposed system would be the most conservative and safe in the world. With 68 safeguards, a terminally ill person would need to make three requests to die and get approval from two doctors. If passed, the scheme could be in place by mid-2019 and would be available to Victorian residents only. Meanwhile, NSW Nationals MP Trevor Khan will today introduce legislation that includes an external 'assisted death panel' that would review cases. Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she personally opposes the bill.
10 BUCKS SAYS THIS ROLL OUT WILL BE FINE
New $10 notes came into circulation yesterday. The new note has the same enhanced security features of the $5 note released last year, as well as the ‘tactile measures’ (which is fancy talk for two bumps) that help visually-impaired people identify its denomination. The problems experienced by self-serve checkouts and other cash-dispensing machines with the release of the $5 note are said to have been ironed out, but others said we won’t know until the cash hits the shops and banks. Cash – what a quaint notion…
UGLY STATS ON MODERN SLAVERY
More than 40 million people were victims of modern slavery in 2016. That’s not a typo – 40 million. The figures were contained in a report issued yesterday by the International Labor Organisation and the Walk Free Foundation (the anti-slavery and human trafficking organisation set up by Aussie mining magnate Andrew ‘Twiggy’ and Nicola Forrest). Breaking it down:
• 25 million people were forced to work under threat or coercion;
• 15 million were forced into marriage; and
• 70% are women.
Data is hard to nail down on this issue, but both organisations say it’s the most accurate to date. The report doesn’t go into solutions, but rather focuses on the scale of the problem.
NEW CERVICAL CANCER TEST GETS EXPERT APPROVAL
Changes to cervical cancer screening (to be rolled out from 1 December) received backing from Australian researchers yesterday. Pap smears are being phased out and replaced by a Human Papilloma Virus test that experts say will improve cancer detection. The test procedure is exactly the same (soz), but tests will happen every 5 years (instead of the standard 2) and testing will start at 25yo (instead of 18yo). The ABC has put together some information about the changes here.
MISS FISHER’S FUNDRAISING ADVENTURES
Confession time – we really like Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Essie Davis and the whole cast are just terrific. So you can imagine the excitement at the prospect of a Miss Fisher movie. The show’s producers have turned to crowdfunding to plug some money gaps and set an initial goal of $250,000 in 30 days – a target they reached in a few hours. Then they asked for $300,000, then $400,000 – both goals were reached in a day. So they’ve upped it again to $500,000, and they’re nearly there. Series creator Deb Cox told Fairfax Media; "Oh, it's fantastic. We knew there was enthusiasm, and that our fans would be particularly motivated because we have such a strong following, but it's all a new language to me - we had no idea the response would be this strong." Phryne wouldn’t be at all surprised, she knows she’s fabulous. And if you're a fan, you can help them get over the line here.
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