Squiz Today / 28 February 2019
Squiz Today – Thursday, 28 February
That was the birth weight of the world’s smallest baby boy to be sent home healthy. Born in Tokyo in August, he left hospital last week two months after his due date weighing 3.2kg. He was so small when he was born that he could fit into a pair of adult hands. Rumours that Anne Geddes had set up nearby for a vegetable patch photoshoot have not been verified…
FIGHTER JETS DOWNED AS INDIA-PAKISTAN TENSIONS FLARE
Tensions between nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and India increased significantly yesterday after Pakistan shot down two Indian fighter jets. Pakistan said it had arrested the pilot of the plane that fell in its territory. Reports say the Indian jets had been deployed in response to Pakistani strikes on targets in Indian-controlled Kashmir. India says it also downed a Pakistani jet - something Pakistan denies. Analysts said the carrying out of air strikes by two nuclear-armed countries is almost unprecedented.
THAT SOUNDS SERIOUS…
Indeed. To recap:
• Tensions have been at boiling-point since 14 February when an attack on an Indian paramilitary police convoy killed more than 40 soldiers. Militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed (Army of Mohammed), which wants the Indian-controlled territory of Kashmir merged with Pakistan, claimed responsibility.
• India followed through on its threat to ‘make those responsible pay’ by launching air strikes to destroy a training camp of the militant group on Tuesday. That was significant because it was the first attack of its kind by India since it went to war with Pakistan in 1971.
• Earlier yesterday, Pakistan’s army warned India: “It is your turn now to wait and get ready for our surprise.” That was followed by air strikes and Pakistan’s declaration that it had shot down two of India’s fighter jets.
WHERE IS THIS GOING?
Hopefully not to an all-out war. The dispute over control of the Kashmir region has been going on for decades. Add that to an election in India in the coming months, and deep anger among Indian voters over the Kashmir issue, and it’s an understatement to say it’s a volatile situation. Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan called for talks but said; "Our action is just to let them know that just like they intruded into our territory, we are also capable of going into their territory." India’s PM Narendra Modi is yet to comment but the Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said restraint was the key. "India does not wish to see further escalation of the situation," she said.
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CARDINAL PELL IN CUSTODY
There was a lot going on yesterday in the wake of the news that Cardinal George Pell had been found guilty of child abuse charges. The key points:
• Pell’s legal team yesterday dropped a bid for bail that saw their client taken into custody. Pell’s sentencing hearing will take place on 13 March, and an appeal will be heard after that.
• Pell’s lawyer Robert Richter drew widespread criticism for poor judgement when he described the charges Pell had been convicted of as a “plain vanilla case” of child abuse. Chief Justice Peter Kidd rejected the characterisation saying it was more than that. “At the moment I feel this was callous, brazen offending,” that had an “element of brutality - this was an attack”.
• Character references from 10 people were tendered to the court yesterday, including from former PM John Howard. Asked about it yesterday, Howard said Pell was “entitled to the working out of the judicial process of this country”. Another former PM, Tony Abbott, said he had spoken to Pell after his conviction was made public this week.
SCENE SET FOR TRUMP-KIM TALKS
“No,” and “we’ll see” were the only answers reporters got from US President Donald Trump last night on the key questions about whether he’s walked away from asking North Korea to denuclearise and if he expects the Korean War to come to an end. Trump met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last night for dinner in Hanoi and let’s just say there wasn’t any pho in sight… Talks will commence today.
And while we have you… Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen has said some unflattering things about his former client to a US congressional committee. “Racist”, “conman” and “cheat” were among them. “If you believe [Cohen] you are a fool," said Trump’s current lawyer, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
SULAWESI MINE COLLAPSE TOLL UNKNOWN
A landslide at a gold mine in the Bolaang Mongondow area on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Tuesday night has buried at least 60 people. As of last night, officials said one person was dead and 13 had been rescued. Experts said experienced miners who were in a position to do so would know how to extend their oxygen supply. Reports say these types of mines are illegal – and often badly engineered - but are widespread in rural areas because of a lack of regulation and compliance.
IT’S ITA AT THE ABC
It hasn’t been officially confirmed but the ABC is reporting media legend Ita Buttrose will be named as the new chair of the public broadcaster. The job became vacant when Justin Milne resigned in September over the controversy caused by the sacking of managing director Michelle Guthrie. Buttrose, the founding editor of Cleo and long-time editor of the Australian Women’s Weekly, was not on appointed headhunter Korn Ferry’s list leading to questions of about what taxpayers got for their $175,000 fee. Buttrose is expected to be appointed for a five-year term.
COSTA NEEDS MORE THAN A COUPLA DAYS TO TURN PROFIT AROUND
Australia’s biggest fruit and veg grower had already lowered profit expectations when it fessed up to “subdued demand” for tomatoes, berries and avocados in December. But yesterday Costa Group revealed the full extent of the damage with a statutory net profit for the July to December half down from $70 million to $4.3 million. Still, it has big plans for the future after buying up citrus farms and eyeing export markets. Bringing it back to basics, CEO Harry Debney told the Australian Financial Review (paywall) that consumer disappointment when they buy a dodgy avocado was something that had to be fixed. Hear hear…
SAM KERR STEPS UP TO LEAD
The rise and rise of the soccer superstar continues… The Matildas’ forward was tapped by new coach Ante Milicic at training this week. "She's a leader, she's fearless and she's very important to the team," Milicic said. Kerr, who won some major international awards last year, said the opportunity to captain the national team was “a massive honour”. Here’s hoping the appointment helps settle the Matlidas squad when they take on New Zealand tonight. They’ve had a difficult time of late with the controversial sacking of former coach Alen Stajcic in January.
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.30pm (AEDT) - Cup of Nations Women's Soccer - Australia v New Zealand - Sydney
ABS Data Release - Private New Capital Expenditure and Expected Expenditure, December; Criminal Courts, 2017-18; Venture Capital and Later Stage Private Equity, 2017-18
Company Earnings Announcements - Harvey Norman; Inghams; Ramsay Health Care
Trump-Kim Summit - Hanoi, Vietnam
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