Squiz Today / 11 June 2019
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 11 June
“My body is really sore.”
Yep. Two hours of racing around a 200-metre course in an office chair will do that…
HONG KONG PROTESTS
Hong Kong’s leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, yesterday said she would pursue a controversial plan to allow the extradition of residents to mainland China, Taiwan and Macau despite massive protests on Sunday. Protest organisers say a million people took to the streets in the largest demonstration in Hong Kong since the territory was handed over to China by the British in 1997, although authorities said the crowd was closer to 240,000. There were violent scenes as police tried to bring it to an end.
WHAT’S THAT ABOUT?
• Supporters of the plan say it’s driven by a case last year where a Hong Kong resident killed his pregnant girlfriend in Taiwan then returned home unable to be sent back to face trial (although Taiwan officials oppose any extradition arrangement).
• Lam says the changes will allow for extradition requests from authorities in mainland China, Taiwan and Macau for suspects accused of crimes that carry maximum sentences of at least seven years. And she says it would exclude suspects accused of political and religious offences.
• But critics fear further erosion of the city's judicial independence and are deeply worried it’s a step towards China’s deeply-flawed justice system (think arbitrary detention, unfair trial and torture). They haven’t been calmed by assurances that there would be human rights safeguards in place.
ISN’T HONG KONG PART OF CHINA?
Kinda. It’s semi-autonomous under the principle of "one country, two systems". And when the Brits departed, a lot of things were worked out to ensure Hong Kong’s independent judicial system, but an extradition arrangement with China has never been settled. So it’s a move that has many in Hong Kong up in arms, especially those who are fiercely protective of its independence from China. For its part, China has supported the move and said the weekend’s protests were stirred up by their opponents’ “foreign allies”. More protests are expected tomorrow.
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HELICOPTER CRASH IN MANHATTAN
A helicopter has crash-landed on the roof of a 54-storey building on Seventh Avenue sparking a fire which is being brought under control. Governor Andrew Cuomo, who acknowledged New Yorkers have "a level of PTSD from 9/11", said it appears to be a forced landing and the building shook with the impact. Reports say the pilot is dead, but no one in the building has been injured. Authorities have told people to stay away from West 51st and 7th Avenue.
KIWI TROOPS COMING HOME
Kiwi PM Jacinda Ardern yesterday announced the staged withdrawal of its troops from Iraq. It has 95 personnel based at Camp Taji undertaking a joint-training mission with Australian forces. They had been due to withdraw at the end of last year, but will now be out by the end of next year. There has been speculation Australia is considering a similar withdrawal of our 300 troops. "Together with New Zealand, the Australian Defence Force has trained almost 44,000 Iraqi security personnel in Iraq since 2014, through the combined Task Group Taji,” a Defence spokesperson said.
SOME QUICK FOLLOW UPS
DAMOND RUSZCZYK KILLER SENTENCED - Police officer Mohamed Noor - the first on-duty Minnesota police officer to be convicted of murder - received a sentence of 12.5 years in prison for the killing of Australian woman Justin Damond Ruszczyk. Noor spoke in court to apologise to those affected by her death; "None of the families will ever be the same again." He is appealing the conviction.
MISSING PEOPLE UPDATE - There’s no good news, sadly. Two-year-old Ruben Scott was found in a dam near the Cape York homestead he disappeared from last Tuesday. And 31yo Trista Applebee was found washed up on North Stradbroke Island on Friday night after she went missing when her joy flight crashed off Gold Coast on Wednesday. Meanwhile, authorities were yesterday trying to locate missing Belgian backpacker Theo Hayez after he went missing from a Byron Bay bar more than a week ago.
MEXICO DODGES US TARIFFS - US President Trump hailed a breakthrough in negotiations with his southern neighbour whereby they will take “unprecedented steps” to slow migrants inflows to America. Trump’s critics say it’s all “a mirage conjured up to get him out of yet another self-created crisis”...
QUEEN’S BIRTHDAY HONOURS
Lizzie’s List for Australia’s best and fairest was out yesterday with the usual grab-bag of big names. We're talking entertainers Hugh Jackman, Eric Bana, Guy Sebastian and Sigrid Thornton. Li Cunxin (think Mao's Last Dancer/Queensland Ballet director) was recognised for his artistic contribution. From the media, there was the ABC's chairwoman Ita Buttrose and 7.30's Leigh Sales. And from politics, former PM Kevin Rudd and former-Democrats leader/women's campaigner Natasha Stott Despoja. And Rosie Batty (who has not received an apology from union boss John Setka after he claimed she had harmed men's rights) was recognised for her advocacy for the prevention of family violence. Of the almost 1,000 people honoured, most are quietly going about their business making solid contributions to their communities and industries. Congrats one and all.
YOU LITTLE RIPPER
“Beers, steaks, pasta. No speeches, just fun.” That’s how our newest tennis grand slam winner Ash Barty described her victory party. Get that woman whatever she wants, we say… Early Sunday morning, Barty became the first Aussie since 1973 to win the French Open and the third Aussie to win a grand slam this century (after Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur). She heads into Wimbledon a little height-challenged but as the world's #2 women's player. Aussie Dylan Alcott will always have Paris too after he took out the Quad Wheelchair title, as will Rafael Nadal who won his 12th Roland Garros trophy.
Not having such a successful weekend was the Matildas after they got their soccer World Cup campaign off to a horror start going down 2-1 to underdogs Italy.
And the Aussie men lost their first tough match of the Cricket World Cup to India. Regardless of the result, Indian captain Virat Kohli was the game's big winner when he intervened with supporters when they booed our former captain Steve Smith over the ball-tampering saga. Nicely played, sir.
AND ALL THAT JAZZ
The Great Luvvie Convention that is the annual Tony Awards unfurled in all its rhinestone-spangled glory yesterday with Hadestown, a musical based on the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice taking home the lion’s share of gongs. A stage-adaption of Tootsie and one about the life of times of Cher won best male and female actor gongs, and Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston was honoured for his role in Network. But enough of all that - it’s the opening act you really want to see, isn’t it? And James Corden didn’t disappoint with his all-singing, all-dancing homage to Broadway. And it's not an event without a red carpet gallery...
SQUIZ THE DAY
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