Squiz Today / 24 October 2017
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 24 October
“You've triggered completely unusual behaviour in my dog.”
Said French President Emmanuel Macron to colleagues as his dog Nemo, a black Labrador-Griffon cross, wandered into their meeting in the Elysees Palace and relieved himself on a fireplace. An ornate Louis Quartorze fireplace, no less. It’s usually the politicians marking their territory…
JAPAN GETS TOUGH ON NORTH KOREA
With Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe well on his way to an election win, attention is turning towards his promise to “deal firmly” with North Korea. Abe is expected to use his re-election to change Japan’s pacifist constitution to remove any confusion about Japan’s military, know as Self-Defence Forces. After World War II, Japan adopted a pacifist stance, leading to a clause in their constitution renouncing military engagement as a means of resolving disputes. If Abe was able to get his amendments through both houses of the Diet, it would need to be put to voters in a referendum. And it’s a hugely contentious issue for the Japanese. Abe’s push a couple of years ago to allow troops to fight overseas under certain circumstances attracted widespread protests.
WOULD JAPAN GO TO WAR?
Abe campaigned on his experience in dealing with a belligerent North Korea as a reason to re-elect him, and it seems to have worked. But Japan is a very long way from being a country that would start a war – with anyone. Regardless, Japan might have left its run too late. Late last week, CIA director Mike Pompeo said North Korea is on the cusp of being able to hit the US with a nuclear missile. "They are so far along in that, it's now a matter of thinking about how do you stop the final step," he said.
THAT’S CHEERY. WHAT’S NEXT?
US President Donald Trump yesterday said; "You would be shocked to see how totally prepared we are if we need to be." Shocked, he says! He even gave China a tick of approval for its work to make North Korea’s life more difficult by imposing sanctions. If all else fails, 93yo former US President Jimmy Carter has volunteered to travel to North Korea to help diplomatic efforts – something he’s done before. And Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has a cranky letter to reply to…
SQUIZ THE REST
TURNBULL SAYS NBN WAS ‘A MISTAKE’
Following yesterday’s revelations by National Broadband Network boss Bill Morrow that the venture may never be profitable, PM Malcolm Turnbull yesterday said the project was 'a mistake', at least as it was initially set up by the previous Labor government. Arguing that the expensive fibre-to-the-home model was the wrong way to go, it was Turnbull who led the switch to fibre-to-the-node when he was communications minister in the Abbott Government. The problem with ‘node’ connections is it relies on the old copper wire network for final connection, and that slows internet speeds down. Cue bucketloads of complaints. In fact, complaints about the NBN to the telco ombudsman were up 160% in the last year.
HEADBUTTING DJ FACES COURT
The bloke who headbutted former PM Tony Abbott faced court in Hobart yesterday. Astro Labe (who is also gloriously known as 'DJ Funknukl') did not enter a plea to the upgraded charges of causing harm to a Commonwealth public official. If found guilty, he could receive up to 10 years jail. You’ll remember that Abbott alleged that Labe, who was wearing a same-sex marriage ‘Yes’ badge, attacked him over the issue. For now, Labe remains on bail until the case is heard on 18 January.
WAGE GROWTH HITS A NEW LOW
New data released yesterday by the Department of Employment shows the average pay increase under private sector enterprise agreements was just 2.6% in the June quarter. That's the lowest level of wage growth recorded since enterprise bargaining was introduced in 1991. Agreements in the public sector bucked the trend by increasing to 2.5%. Everywhere you look in the economic debate at the moment there’s concern about the rate of wages growth. What a great time to ask your boss to do something for their country…
ISLAMIC STATE DEFEATED IN PHILIPPINES
The Philippines has declared an end to the battle against Islamic State fighters in the southern city of Marawi. After five months, the government said their troops had prevailed in a ‘last stand’ battle. It was confirmed last week that two leaders of the rebel troops had been killed. Australia and others in our region had expressed concern that Islamic State had a foothold in the Philippines and we had been assisting the government with intelligence and surveillance.
GAYLE BAGS MASSEUSE IN DEFAMATION CASE
Chris Gayle - the West Indian cricketer who in 2015 propositioned sports reporter Mel McLaughlin on air and then said “don’t blush baby” when she was momentarily lost for words - is suing Fairfax Media for defamation. Articles published after the McLaughlin incident alleged Gayle exposed himself to West Indian team massage therapist Leanne Russell asking her “is this what you’re looking for?”. Turns out it wasn’t. Gayle told the court it never happened, adding he avoided Russell because "she wasn't a good masseuse. She wasn't good for me, I should say." The trial will go on for another nine days, and Russell is expected to give evidence.
UNLIKELY MARATHON WINNER IN VENICE
Can you imagine how furious you’d be if you were leading a marathon and the guide on the motorcycle took you two minutes off the course? Ok, we can't imagine ever running a marathon, but in this unlikely scenario, we'd be mighty annoyed. That's what happened in Venice on the weekend. The winner Eyob Faniel – a relative of the guy on the motorbike (we have no evidence supporting that statement) – was the first Italian to win the race for years after the folk in front of him were accidentally led astray. Think of him as the Steven Bradbury of Italian long-distance running. Sometimes luck just smiles on you.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEDT) - Peter Garrett addresses the National Press Club on 'Trashing our crown jewel: The fate of the Great Barrier Reef in the coal age' - Canberra
ABS Release - Forward Work Program, 2017-18 (we're excited...)
The Squiz Archive
Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?
Get the Squiz Today newsletter
It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.