Squiz Today / 29 October 2019
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 29 October
"I think it will be the beers more than champagne."
Said Ash Barty when asked if she has some celebratory drinks on ice because she will almost certainly end 2019 as the world’s number one ranked women's tennis player. It’s a special occasion, so it’s probably a Crownie…
Want to know more about this Aussie legend? There’s a Squiz Shortcut for that…
DETAILS EMERGE ON US OPERATION TO BAG BAGHDADI
As the world yesterday absorbed the news that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was dead, more information came to light about the US military operation on his compound in Syria. World leaders welcomed the news, but there was caution too. And there has been plenty said about US President Donald Trump’s handling of it.
WHAT WENT DOWN?
It’s an incredible story. A disaffected IS member had been providing a drip-feed of information to the Syrian Kurds, which they passed onto the Americans. With Baghdadi's location narrowed down to a compound in northwestern Syria, a mission was launched in the early hours of Sunday morning (Syrian time). Eight US helicopters carrying Special Operations troops flew in from Iraq in what Trump called a “dangerous and daring” mission. The assault on the compound led to a retreat by Baghdadi into a dead-end tunnel where he detonated an explosive vest, killing himself and three of his six children. Also killed in the operation were two women who were identified as Baghdadi’s wives. News that Baghdadi was dead was announced as “jackpot” by the commander on the ground. The operation was named after Kayla Mueller, an American aid worker who was kidnapped by IS in Syria in 2013 and was raped repeatedly by Baghdadi before she died in captivity in 2015.
WHAT HAVE PEOPLE SAID?
News of Baghdadi’s demise was welcomed by many world leaders, but their messages were tempered with a warning that it’s not the end of Islamic State. Back in the US, a lot has been said about how Trump handled the announcement compared to former President Barack Obama handling of Osama bin Laden’s demise. And then there was the photo comp…
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THE NEW TAKE ON BREXIT
You never would have guessed it, but the UK won’t leave the European Union on Thursday. Cue exasperated sigh… The good news is Brexit will continue to be a thing over the Christmas and New Year period with a 31 January deadline agreed in principle by EU leaders. The "flextension" (aka our new favourite word) means the UK could leave before the deadline if a deal is approved by its Parliament. As for UK PM Boris Johnson, he’s still trying to get MPs to agree to a 12 December election date.
VIETNAMESE FAMILIES PLAY THE WAITING GAME ON UK TRUCK TRAGEDY
The majority of the 39 people found dead in a refrigerated truck in the UK last week are likely to be Vietnamese, reports say, with 25 come from the same small farming village. The family of one of the missing, 30yo Le Van Ha, say they mortgaged their land to raise £20,000 (A$37,625) to pay the people smugglers, and they now have "nothing left". The UK is said to be the destination of choice for many Vietnamese migrants looking to make money to send home to their families because it has established Vietnamese communities and job opportunities. Vietnam’s PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered an investigation into human trafficking networks. Meanwhile, truck driver Maurice Robinson had his first of many court hearings overnight. He remains in custody.
ARGENTINA HAS A NEW PRESIDENT
Centre-left candidate Alberto Fernández has been elected president of Argentina, defeating centre-right incumbent Mauricio Macri. Fernández, a former campaign strategist who only launched his tilt for the top job in May, was a clear favourite to win with the country in the middle of a major economic crisis that’s left a third of the population in poverty. Rejecting Macri’s program of cuts and economic reform, Fernández has promised to build an egalitarian Argentina. Critics, however, are concerned about his running-mate, former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. She is the target of nearly a dozen corruption cases.
AUSSIES LACK GRUNT ON ELECTRIC CARS
A new study by pollsters Nielsen has found that despite being increasingly concerned about the environment, Australians aren’t electrified with excitement for electric vehicles. While sales of the plug-in cars have grown over the past three years, it's not at the level of other countries. In 2018, less than 2,000 were sold here, compared to 1.2 million in China (fair’s fair, they have a lot more people…), 360,000 in the US (same thing) and 3,682 in New Zealand (ok, message received). What’s holding us back? Concerns about how they would work on long trips, price, and the small range of vehicles available.
WOMEN’S AFL ADVANCES
It’s taken a lot of back and forth between the AFL Players Association and the AFL, but a deal has been struck for the next three years of the women’s league. The league will expand to 14 teams from next year with new sides entering the competition from the Gold Coast, Richmond, St Kilda and West Coast. Not getting over the line was a 13-game season before the finals enabling the teams to play all competitors at least once. Instead, there will be eight home-and-away matches in 2020, nine in 2021, and 10 in 2022. Players pay will also increase from a band of between $24,600-$13,400 this year to $37,155-$20,239 in 2022. A formal announcement will be made this morning.
THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY...
Remember the painting from an older French woman’s kitchen that turned out to be a long-lost painting by the pre-Renaissance Italian artist Cimabue? It sold yesterday for A$39 million to an anonymous buyer. Hope she’s going out for dinner in celebration...
SQUIZ THE DAY
5.45pm (AEDT) - Philip Lowe, Reserve Bank Governor to deliver the Sir Leslie Melville Lecture - Canberra
Supermarket Coles announces its sales result for the first quarter of this financial year
Annual General Meetings - Bega Cheese; Bendigo and Adelaide Bank; Fortescue Metals; Tassal; Vocus
Turkey’s National Day
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