Squiz Today / 15 January 2019
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 15 January
"World record egg”
A picture of an egg with 32 million likes yesterday overtook a Kardashian to become the Instagram record holder. 2019 has a quirky streak…
BREXIT BLUES AS MAY SEEKS SUPPORT
One of the biggest weeks in recent UK political history has kicked off with frantic lobbying for and against the Brexit deal cobbled together by Prime Minister Theresa May. A vote in the UK Parliament is expected to be held around 7pm Tuesday evening UK time (about 6am Wednesday Oz AEDT). And at this point, it seems like anything could happen…
JUST HOW BONKERS IS IT?
Well look, it’s not on the level of releasing a video game where you avoid political leaders to collect Tim Tam points… But it’s pretty bizarre. The state of play is:
• About 100 of her 330 MPs are expected to vote with Labour and other opposition parties to reject the deal.
• Northern Ireland’s 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs, whose support the government relies on to stay in power, are also opposed to the deal.
• The Jeremy Corbyn-led Labour Party will also vote against it. And it will move towards triggering a general election if the plan is defeated.
• May is hoping Brits who voted to leave the EU will pressure their MPs to support her deal. Her pitch is that Brexit could be killed off altogether if not supported in parliament this week, and that’s not what the country voted for in the 2016 referendum. "We all have a duty to implement the result of the referendum," May said.
• Adding to the weirdness was a weekend report in The Times that there is a group of Conservative MPs who want to take control of Brexit if her deal is defeated. They would do that by changing parliamentary rules, and that would completely upend the way UK government works.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Shrugging lady emoji. Even the experts/pundits/observers aren’t sure. Everything is on the table including May not being the PM by the end of the week. The most certain of all the options is it’s unlikely that May will win the vote. An explainer on what might happen is here. And if you need to go back to the start, a simple guide is here. It’s only what the BBC calls Britain’s “most profound political crisis since 1945”...
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RESCUERS TRIGGERED AVALANCHE, PARENTS SAY
Thomas Meyer and Julie Schatz, parents of Sydney schoolboy Max Meyer, released a statement late yesterday about his death in an avalanche while skiing in Austria last week. After becoming stuck in deep snow in a valley between two ski runs, the family called for help. “In the process of the ski patrol trying to reach us by skiing down from above us on the opposite side of the valley, an avalanche was triggered which engulfed us and tragically led to the death of our son Max.” A coroner confirmed to them that Max died painlessly and instantly, and police are investigating. “We can find no words to express how much and how deeply Max was loved by us, and by so many others,” they said.
LION AIR VOICE RECORDER RECOVERED
It took weeks of searching, but the Indonesian Navy found the voice recorder of the ill-fated Lion Air flight that plunged into the Java Sea not long after taking off from Jakarta's airport killing all 189 people on board in October. The black box was found buried under 8 metres of mud. It is hoped the recording, if intact, will shed more light on what happened in the cockpit that morning. An interim report said the newish plane should not have been in service after pilots of earlier flights had struggled with an automated safety system designed to keep the aircraft from stalling.
TRUMP THREATENS TURKEY OVER KURDS
While his colleagues were going softly softly to convince Turkey to leave the Kurds in peace on its Syrian border, US President Donald Trump yesterday blew it up bigly. Trump tweeted America would “devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds”. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s people were not impressed… As we led with yesterday, there’s been a lot of talk in recent days about Trump’s decision to pull American troops out of Syria, and there was hope a deal could be done to ensure their Kurdish allies in the war against the Islamic State aren't targeted by Turkey who considers them to be terrorists.
While we have you, there’s another big report in the US papers… The Wall Street Journalsays the White House's National Security Council last year asked for plans to launch a military attack on Iran. Yikes… The Council’s spokesman responded saying it looks at all sorts of things to keep the country safe.
NO JOY AT CHRISTMAS FOR RETAILERS
The rule in big consumer retail is you make your money in December. And if you don’t have good sales leading up to Christmas, it’s hard to make it up in the last six months of the financial year. That’s what Wesfarmers basically told investors yesterday with Kmart failing to fire during the holiday season. Analysts say it looks like retailers had a weak Chrissy and that Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales in November combined with constant discounting in the lead up to the big day took a shine off their takings. More will be revealed when the retailers report their results in the coming weeks, and then in February when the Bureau of Stats tallies retail sales for December.
WORLD’S BIGGEST EVENT KICKS OFF
No Oz-centrics, it’s not the Aussie Open… It's India's Kumbh Mela, a weeks-long gathering of Hindus that starts today. In total, 120 million pilgrims are expected to travel to bathe at the Sangam (where the Ganges, the Yamuna and the Saraswati rivers join). Held in Allahabad (recently renamed Prayagraj) every 12 years, this year’s festival is a ‘half-size’ version that falls between the two Kumbhs - but this year it's expected to attract more than 2013’s ‘full’ Kumbh. Today, a crowd of 15 to 20 million visitors is expected, and on 4 February, 30 million people will gather for the most auspicious bathing day. And you thought Christmas lunch for 20 was hard… This is an interesting read about how organisers plan to pull the event off.
IF YOU EVER WONDERED…
… what Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's wedding singer doppelganger from Afghanistan looks like, this is your lucky day.
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French President Emmanuel Macron kicks off a three-month national debate in the hope of settling "yellow vest" protest unrest
Anniversary of the birthday of American civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King Jr (1929)
Anniversary of Elizabeth I becoming Queen of England (1559)
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