Squiz Today / 14 January 2020
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 14 January
“Having watched ‘Chernobyl’ didn't help.”
Said Toronto local Jim Vlahos of the alarming alert locals received about an “incident” at a local nuclear plant on Sunday morning. Ninety minutes later, a second message came through saying the first "was sent in error" - a long time for docu-drama-fuelled imaginations to run wild…
QUEEN GIVES SUSSEX WALKOUT A ROYAL WAVE THROUGH
A meeting held overnight by the Queen to discuss Harry and Meghan’s new life has been “very constructive”, a statement from Her Majesty says. “My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family,” the Queen says. “Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life.” And while no final decisions about how it's going to work have been made, but the Queen wants it wrapped up “in the coming days.”
CAN THEY DO IT THAT QUICKLY?
As the statement from Buckingham Palace said last week, these are complicated issues. Reports say the couple need to lay out precisely what sort of ongoing royal role they have in mind going forward. And then a discussion can be had about how to make it work. But to remain tied to the royals, they need to 'serve and survive'. Which means they have to commit to dress up and shake hands regularly, and work to aid the survival of the British monarchy.
THAT SOUNDS TRICKY...
Mmm hmm. And there’s a pressure on time. Heading into the “Sandringham Summit”, Princes William and Harry denied a front-page report in The Times that the elder brother “bullied” the Sussexes out, with the brothers calling the story "inflammatory" and "offensive". It underlines why the Queen wants to go fast to limit the damage that an ugly rift could inflict on her family and the Crown. But keep in mind the real victims here. "If anyone has a right to be mad at Harry and Meghan it's the people of Sussex, who have been left leaderless without their Duke and who are now defenceless against incursions from Hampshire and Kent," posted one Twitter wag.
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WHITE ISLAND DISASTER CLAIMS ANOTHER VICTIM
The death toll from New Zealand’s White Island eruption rose to 20 yesterday following the death of Melburnian Paul Browitt. He was described by his boss as “highly respected and well-liked”. Browitt and daughters Stephanie and Krystal took the excursion from the Ovation of the Seas cruise on 9 December when tragedy struck. Krystal (21yo) died on the island, and Stephanie (23yo) was badly burned. She remains in hospital in Melbourne. Reports say her mother Marie, who stayed back on the ship, remains at her bedside.
And while we have you… The international airport and schools in the Philippines’ capital Manila were closed yesterday after ash from the Taal volcano 100km away reached the city. The eruption began on Sunday, and there are fears it will blow. There have been no reports of casualties or major damage so far.
DEEP SADNESS OVER CONSERVATIVE CAMPAIGNERS’ DEATH
Big on social media over the last couple of days was the disruption of a drag queen and kids reading event in a Brisbane library led University of Queensland Liberal National Club president Wilson Gavin. And then there were reports he had taken his own life yesterday morning. The political party distanced itself from the UQ club, which was disaffiliated in December, as character assessments of Wilson and his fellow members flooded in online on Sunday. Yesterday, Queensland LNP leader Deb Frecklington said “today is a day to think about a bit of compassion and respect for people." Rainbow Families Queensland, which organised the storytelling event, said "We are deeply saddened by this news and extend our sympathies to his family."
HOW MUCH CAN A KOALA BEAR?
Australia’s koala population has endured an “extraordinary hit” in the bushfires and may be listed as endangered in some areas, says Environment Minister Sussan Ley. Joining Treasurer Josh Frydenberg yesterday, who called the bushfires “an ecological disaster”, the pair announced an initial $50 million for the recovery of wildlife populations devastated in the fires. With more than 10 million hectares of land burned across the country since September last year, 30% of the koala population has been wiped out, estimates say. And you know things must be bad when a plan to export the cuties to New Zealand is flagged... Experts also estimate more than a billion animals have died in the blazes so far.
SOULEIMANI ATTACK PLAN CLAIMS QUESTIONED
US Defence Secretary Mike Esper yesterday contradicted US President Donald Trump saying he didn't see evidence pointing to imminent attacks on four US embassies in the Middle East region planned by Iranian General Qassem Soleimani. That's what US President Donald Trump says he ’believes’ to be the case. The obfuscation comes as protesters in Iran took to the streets demanding that heads roll after the government admitted it accidentally shot down a Ukranian passenger jet last week. There are fears Iranian police and security forces have fired on the crowds. Meanwhile, Iran's only female Olympic medallist, 21yo Kimia Alizadeh, yesterday announced her defection from her homeland, saying she did not want to be complicit with the regime's "corruption and lies."
UK FENDS OFF AMERICAN PRESSURE ON HUAWEI
The UK’s longstanding intelligence partnership with the US shouldn’t be affected if Old Blighty uses Huawei technologies to build its 5G telco network. That’s according to the head of the UK’s MI5 intelligence service Andrew Parker. Yesterday’s statement comes as US officials land in London in a last-ditch pitch to the UK to ban Huawei due to concerns the Chinese government could use potential ‘backdoors’ in the technology to spy on users. Huawei and Beijing have denied the claims. British ministers are yet to make a final decision on Huawei’s participation in the broader 5G rollout. Australia, Kiwiland, and the US have banned Huawei from the building of their 5G networks over national security concerns.
Not sure what this one’s about? It’s set to continue to pop up in the news in the weeks and months to come. So we did a Squiz Shortcut for you…
OSCAR NOMINATIONS NOT A JOKE(R)
The backstory of Batman’s foe as told in Joker could be set for glory as it received 11 nominations for an Academy Award overnight. Its star Joaquin Phoenix is a favourite for best actor after he took home the Golden Globe last week for best actor in a drama. And Renee Zellweger also leads the pack for her turn in Judy after receiving plenty of awards success so far. Receiving 10 nominations each were mobster flick Irishman, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and 1917. Brad Pitt has completed his comeback with a nomination for best-supporting actor. And Margot Robbie scored her second Oscar nomination for Bombshell, but a raft of Aussies missed out. Not that any of this is bothering Dame Helen Mirren…
SQUIZ THE DAY
7.00pm (AEDT) - Cricket - Game 1 of the Gillette ODI cricket series between Australia and India - Mumbai, India
Alejandro Giammattei is sworn in as president of Guatemala
Anniversary of the deaths of Lewis Carroll (1898), Dorothea Mackellar (1968) and Alan Rickman (2016)
Anniversary of the establishment of the Reserve Bank of Australia (1960)
Anniversary of the first successful Cesarean section operation (1794)
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