Squiz Today / 15 May 2018
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 15 May
“I don't like to yell her name out loud."
One US parent is rethinking the decision to name their bundle of baby girl joy ‘Melania’ – one of the top five fastest-growing names for 2017. Hopefully news of her surging popularity cheers America's First Lady as she recovers from kidney surgery.
ELECTION SHOCK: PART TWO
In the second significant international electoral upset in a week, Iraq is set to turf out its government in favour of anti-US parties. Sairoon, the party backed by influential Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, is in the lead in preliminary results. Meanwhile, the US-preferred party of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is coming in third.
WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
Long story short:
• Abadi has not been rewarded for his government’s work to banish Islamic State from Iraq.
• Instead, it looks like a party backed by a cleric who fought the US during its occupation of Iraq will win.
• While Sadr was not a candidate himself, he is expected to pick who will become the next PM and what policies they will pursue.
• Voter turnout of 45% was far lower than any election held since their first democratic poll in 2005. Reports say that’s because of a crisis of confidence in the system and the candidates on offer.
• All in all, the result makes life more difficult for the US and coalition allies like Australia.
Yes, as it happens. A coalition of opposition parties in East Timor headed by Xanana Gusmao is in the box seat to form a government there. They’re coming in ahead of Fretilin, the mob who tried to govern from a minority position after last year’s election. The official result won’t be known until late May. And Italy is edging closer to settling the outcome of its March elections. Two non-traditional parties - Five Star Movement (M5S) and the League – are at the pointy end of talks to form a new right-of-centre government.
SQUIZ THE REST
ANOTHER FAMILY TERROR BLAST IN SURABAYA
A police station was targeted in a second suicide bombing attack in as many days in Indonesia’s second largest city. Ten people were injured. This time it was a family of five who carried out the attack, and their 8yo girl survived. It follows Sunday’s attacks on three churches in the city killing 14 people, including a family of six bombers. Authorities say the two families were friends and suspect the new attack is linked to the Islamic State-aligned Jemaah Ansurat Daulah (JAD) group. A third family has also been linked to planning an attack on Sunday but reports say the bomb detonated prematurely.
JERUSALEM EMBASSY OPENING DRAWS DEADLY PROTESTS
You’d remember the controversy when US President Donald Trump announced America was moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem (a refresher is here if you need). Well, it opened yesterday in a ceremony attended by First Daughter Ivanka Trump and her senior policy-advising husband Jared Kushner. It drew an angry response from an estimated 40,000 Palestinian protestors who stepped up their weeks' long campaign along the Gaza strip yesterday. Reports say that more than 50 were killed and 2,400 injured making it one of the deadliest days in years. More protests are expected today.
QUICK BUSINESS NEWS WRAP
TELSTRA HAS A BAD DAY - Its share price dropped 5% yesterday because it let investors know that its full-year profit will likely be closer to $10.1 billion, not $10.6 billion. Investors and commentators were left to speculate whether Telstra’s profit margins – currently being squeezed by the NBN and competition in the phone market – will return to health anytime soon.
MORE RETAIL UPHEAVAL - Specialty Fashion Brands announced it was selling Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph and Rivers brands to Noni B for $31 million. Imagine how many pairs of Rivers’ fake crocs you could pick up for that… SFB will retain its most profitable brand City Chic, a plus-size women’s fashion retailer. Next agenda item is to get in on the big handbag craze…
T MINUS FOUR SLEEPS UNTIL THE ROYAL WEDDING…
Ok, let’s get in on this. The big news today – Meghan Markle’s father Thomas will not walk her down the aisle on Saturday because he does not want to embarrass her or the Royal family. It follows reports that he was paid to stage paparazzi shots ahead of the big day. There are also reports he suffered a heart attack less than a week ago. Family, eh...
MARGOT KIDDER DEAD AT 69
She was best known for her role as Lois Lane to Christopher Reeve’s Superman in the 70’s and 80’s. A bipolar sufferer, she was an early advocate for openly talking about mental illness. She had what she called “the most public freak-out in history” when she disappeared in 1996. Her cause of death has not been confirmed.
AN AWFUL GAME OF FOOTSIES…
There’s no way of softly introducing this one… There’s an ongoing mystery in British Columbia, Canada over the human feet that have been washing up on its shores. There have been 14 since 2007. You might save this one until after breakfast…
SQUIZ THE DAY
ABS Data Release - Lending Finance, March; Overseas Arrivals and Departures, March
Start of Ramadan this evening (until 13 June)
Anniversary of Aussie Jessica Watson becoming the youngest person to sail non-stop and unassisted around the world solo (2010)
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