Squiz Today / 19 March 2019
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 19 March
“The Lewis Hamilton of pigeons."
Armando, the "best Belgian long-distance pigeon of all time", has sold at auction for a record €1.25 million (A$2 million). That's one fancy bird…
SOUL SEARCHING AND TOUGH QUESTIONS FOLLOW CHRISTCHURCH ATTACK
As the investigation into Australian Brenton Tarrant’s terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday continued yesterday, the world is on edge for new attacks. And here in Oz, politicians, community leaders and commentators focused on intolerance in our society.
LET’S START WITH THE LATEST HAPPENINGS…
• There has been a shooting in the Dutch city of Utrecht where three people were killed on a tram, and five people were injured. Authorities have not ruled out terrorism. Police have arrested a 37yo Turkish man.
• New Zealand’s PM Jacinda Ardern yesterday announced her government’s support for changes to the country’s gun laws. Details are still to come, but options said to be on the table include a ban on semi-automatic weapons like those used by Tarrant. There will also be an official inquiry into what happened in the lead up to Friday’s mosque attacks.
• Meanwhile, police yesterday raided two homes - Tarrant's sister's at Sandy Beach (near Coffs Harbour), and his mother's at Lawrence (near Yamba). Reports said the women were cooperating and investigators were looking for any material that could assist New Zealand’s police.
• Tarrant has sacked his lawyer and plans on representing himself in court. There are fears he will seek to use the process to promote his world view.
• A few more details on the police officers who arrested Tarrant were provided. They were visiting Christchurch from their rural Canterbury station for a training session on dealing with armed offenders. NZ Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the as yet unnamed officers prevented a further attack.
AND HOW DID IT GET TO THIS?
Well, there's a question…
• When it comes to Tarrant specifically, many have pointed to the ‘dark corners’ of the internet and his travels to sites of old battles between Christians and Muslims as strong influences on his world view.
• But more broadly, a lot has been said since Friday about the rise of right-wing extremism in Western democracies. Looking at Australia, PM Scott Morrison yesterday said a growing culture of “tribalism” can help extremism take hold. However, his critics pointed at him and his colleagues for the divisive nature of our political discourse, eg the debate on border security policy.
• And then there’s Pauline Hanson and One Nation. Some commentators saw her party as becoming more moderate in recent times, but her refusal to censure former member Fraser Anning (who might see himself dumped from the Qantas Chairmans Lounge…) on Seven’s Sunrise yesterday undermined that theory. Something the major parties can agree on? A look into the role of social media as a forum for spreading division and hate is required.
SQUIZ THE REST
CYCLONE IDAI DEVASTATES MOZAMBIQUE
The official death toll is 84 people, but President Filipe Nyusi has addressed the nation warning it could be upwards of 1,000 people. Flooding and high winds inflicted late last week has caused significant damage to villages, and may have even wiped some out entirely, he said. The cyclone's wrath wasn't restricted to Mozambique - Zimbabwe and Malawi were also hit, and more than 100 people are believed to have lost their lives there. The Red Cross and other humanitarian organisations are on the ground to help.
ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES’ BLACK BOX TELLS A TALE
New details have emerged from the official investigation into the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed all 157 on board last week. Data recovered from the Boeing 737 Max 8’s black boxes showed “clear similarities” with the Lion Air crash in Indonesia last October that killed 189 people, a spokesman from the Transport Ministry said. US officials were more cautious, saying the investigation "remains in the very early stages". Meanwhile, the US Department of Transportation is believed to have launched a separate investigation looking at why/how the US industry regulator gave the aircraft’s flight safety system the all clear after the Lion crash last year.
FOLBIGG TO GIVE EVIDENCE
Katherine Folbigg, the mother jailed for 25 years for killing her four babies - Caleb, Patrick, Sarah and Laura - will give evidence at an inquiry into her convictions. Her evidence relates to personal diary entries she made about Sarah and Laura. The inquiry will test Folbigg’s 2003 conviction against advances in forensics and medicine - including new research on multiple infant deaths in the one family. At the time of the trial, the prosecution submitted; “it has never been recorded that the same person has been hit by lightning four times".
MAKING A MEAL OF THE BISCUIT MARKET
To use a pun from the Financial Review’s report (paywall), the competition regulator will soon be digesting (tish-boom) the implications of a mega-merger in the biscuit market, with final bids for iconic Aussie bickie maker Arnott's (and Campbell Soup's other overseas operations) due tomorrow. Arnott's currently commands about 60% of the biscuit market, with brands such as Tim Tams, Shapes, and the chocolatey goodness that is the Monte. Mondelez, which is said the be the frontrunner, currently has about 8% of the biscuit market with the Oreo, Ritz and Captain’s Table brands. The preferred bidder is expected to be announced by the end of the week.
LET THE WATER FLOW
Pelicans and black ducks are getting their floaties on and returning to Lake Eyre as floodwater from Far North Queensland reaches the South Australian outback. The speed and volume of the water have been higher than expected, travelling at up to 3km an hour in some places. Bob Backway, Commodore of the Lake Eyre Yacht Club, is already planning a four-day regatta next month and predicts it will be the biggest flood since 1991. While the lake did partially flood last year, it is rare to have a complete flood - on average just three or four times every 100 years.
VALE EDMUND CAPON
The Englishman celebrated for turning Australia's art world on its head when he arrived at the Art Gallery of NSW in 1978 from London's Victoria & Albert Museum has died at 78yo. Enjoying 33 years at the helm of the gallery, Capon's flair and scholarly knowledge shook up our art scene. His most controversial moves included buying three of Cy Twombly’s abstract pieces for $4.5 million in 2004 (now worth many times that), Cezanne’s Bords de la Marne for $16.2 million and Sidney Nolan's 1946 First-Class Marksman for $5.4 million, the most expensive Australian painting sold at auction at the time. Capon was also widely acclaimed for turning the Archibald portrait prize into the internationally acclaimed competition it is today. Capon died in London from melanoma.
SQUIZ THE DAY
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Anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (1932)
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