Squiz Today / 06 April 2017
Squiz Today – Thursday, 6 April
WORLD CONDEMNS SYRIAN CHEMICAL ATTACK
The UN Security Council held urgent talks after a chemical attack on Tuesday in the Syrian province Idlib killed about 52 civilian adults and 20 children. The Syrian government, led by President Bashar al-Assad, rejects accusations that it is behind the attacks. The US, UK, France all laid blame at Assad’s door, some claiming it is a war crime. The Security Council had harsh words for Russia for their support of the Assad regime. The chemical used has not been confirmed, but some claim it was Sarin. The attack came as 70 humanitarian groups met in Brussels to discuss aid for the ongoing human tragedy.
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
There has been a six-year civil war raging in Syria that has killed between 250,000- 500,000 civilians, seen five million flee the country and displaced another six million. What started as a citizens uprising (think Arab Spring) about unemployment, corruption and repression under the Assad regime quickly became a full-on civil war super-charged by international intervention, sectarianism, and Islamic State (which holds large parts of north and east Syria). Australia has been involved in the US-led Coalition effort to fight IS by contributing air support for strikes and humanitarian drops. Russia started airstrikes against IS in 2015 but have been accused of targeting anti-Assad groups. Tuesday’s chemical attack is one unthinkable horror in several years’ worth of unthinkable horrors. And there’s no end in sight.
HOW DOES THIS END?
The one thing most international leaders seem to agree on is a political solution will need to be found. Western leaders sang from the same songsheet yesterday on the need for Assad to go. Unsurprisingly, Russia disagrees. Ceasefire agreements have come and gone, and Western leaders want Russia and China to do more to find a resolution. In the meantime, Syrians are relying on the international community for humanitarian support. For our part, Australia has given around $430 million in aid and resettled 12,000 Syrian refugees.
SQUIZ THE REST
BANNON LOSES NATIONAL SECURITY SPOT
One big criticism levelled at US President Donald Trump since coming to office was the appointment of his chief strategist Steve Bannon to the very powerful National Security Council. It ruffled a lot of intelligence feathers. News overnight is Bannon has been removed from the Council, and the White House argues it is in no way a demotion.
NEW RECORD ICE SEIZURE
Geez our Border Forces and Police have had some wins recently. Yesterday, 900kg of ice worth almost $900 million was seized in Nunawading, Melbourne. Hang on! That’s where they film Neighbours! Anyway... It’s the biggest single seizure of ice in Australia’s history. A Chinese crime syndicate is believed responsible for importing the drugs that were found in a shipment of floorboards.
BOB DAY’S SENATE ELECTION
Bob Day Knight (sorry, that’s our Kath and Kim tick speaking), the former Family First senator from South Australia, finally had the High Court rule on his Senate election. He’s officially goneskis. Day was elected in last year’s election but then it was found he owned the building where the Commonwealth leased office space for him. Under the Constitution, you can't run for parliament if you get a direct or indirect financial benefit from the Commonwealth. His replacement is probably the next candidate on the Family First ticket, lawyer Lucy Gichuhi. But she’s also under a cloud because she may have held dual Australian/Kenyan citizenship - also not on. Can someone please send Family First a ‘things you must not do if you’re running for election’ handbook?
MAY DEFIES FOREIGN OFFICE IN SAUDI ARABIA
UK PM Theresa May ignored the advice of her Foreign Office by not covering her head during her visit to Saudi Arabia. While she did cover her ankles and wrists, she drew the line at a full-length cloak and headscarf. She's not the first, Michelle Obama and Condoleezza Rice also dared to show their head. But enough about the clothes. May was there to drive trade and security links in Saudi Arabia and Jordan in preparation for the post-Brexit world.
MAN LOSES BOTH LEGS ON WORST HOLIDAY EVER
Imagine this. You travel to see family overseas and they get you to mow the lawn. Already it’s the crappest holiday ever. But then you’re bitten by a creepy crawly and lose both your legs and possibly your arms as well. Just unbelievable. This is the fate that befell The Squiz’s official Unluckiest Man Of The Week, Terry Pareja from the Phillippines, who was visiting family in Birchip, Victoria last month. He was bitten by something on a Saturday in late February but didn’t seek medical help until the Monday. It was too late. There’s some conjecture over what bit him, many believe it was a white-tailed spider. Pareja remains in a serious condition and won’t be able to return home for at least 18 months.
WHO’S YOUR DREAM DRINKING COMPANION?
For two Aussie advertising execs stuck in a cold New York one Australia Day it was Bob Hawke. So they got to work and developed their dream beer brand – Hawke Lager. It’s on tap from today, Hawke is launching it at the Clock Hotel in Surry Hills, Sydney.
SQUIZ THE DAY
Rockhampton flood waters expected to peak
Start of the Royal Sydney Easter Show
Golf - start of The Masters, Augusta National, Georgia, USA
International Day of Sport for Development and Peace
New Beer's Eve (US) - an unofficial celebration marking the end of prohibition in 1933
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.