Squiz Today / 04 June 2019
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 4 June
“I know I shouldn’t.”
Said heavyweight boxing star Anthony Joshua of getting his picture taken with cursed rapper/singer Drake before his bout against Andy Ruiz Jr on the weekend. Posting it to Instagram with the caption “Bout to break the curse”, Joshua was the favourite to win. Until he lost. The dreaded Drake curse continues…
TIANANMEN SQUARE MASSACRE ANNIVERSARY
Today is the 30th anniversary of Beijing’s Tiananmen Square Massacre that brutally snuffed out student-led calls for democratic reforms in China. An official number was never put on the number of students and citizens killed as a result of the crackdown by the People’s Liberation Army, but it was in the hundreds, and some think thousands. More than 1,600 people were charged with the last prisoner released in 2016.
BACK IT UP A BIT...
For many of us, what we remember is an iconic image of a man standing in front of a line of tanks and PM Bob Hawke’s emotional speech describing in terrible detail what had happened. For a bit more detail:
• As many as a million students and citizens had gathered for weeks in the heart of the capital at Tiananmen Square to mourn the death of an admired Communist Party official who had championed reform. And protests started to pop up around the country.
• Those gathered called for transparency in government, less corruption and the opportunity to elect their own government.
• The protestors and their demands were seen as an existential threat by China’s Communist Government, and on 4 June they called in the army to clear the Square using whatever means necessary.
HOW DOES IT AFFECT THINGS TODAY?
The tragic events of 4 June 1989 directly shaped China's modern-day model of authoritarian political control. Pundits characterise it as the moment China said to its people that “You can have economic growth, but you can’t have political freedom.” That’s a compact that exists today with President Xi Jinping’s authoritative hand on the levers of power. Not that many in China would know it - heavy censorship of reporting on the massacre is in place. But we can know more…
SQUIZ THE REST
SAD END ANTICIPATED FOR CLIMBERS
Last night aerial searchers said they’d spotted five bodies and bags where eight mountain climbers went missing more than a week ago in the Indian Himalayas. Authorities say an examination of the photos they have taken confirm they are dead. A recovery mission is being planned. It’s thought the group, including Sydney woman Ruth McCance, were hit by an avalanche and that they have all died.
CHINESE WARSHIPS DOCK IN SYDNEY
It’s weird how timing works sometimes… On the eve of the Tiananmen anniversary and while our PM Scott Morrison made friends in the Solomon Islands (in an attempt to cozy up with our Pacific Island neighbours now that China's paying them some attention), three Chinese warships entered Sydney Harbour yesterday where they will anchor for four days. Like a sleepover involving the kids of parents you’re on strained terms with, Morrison said it was all planned, he just hadn't written it on the planner on the fridge (which for our purposes is telling people about it). And besides, our kids sometimes stay at their place, so it's no big deal - until the lasers come out again...
MILITARY MOVES ON SUDANESE PROTESTORS
And speaking of military forces moving on civilians, reports say at least 13 people were killed and 200 injured in Sudan yesterday. Protestors are in a weeks-long standoff with the ruling military council over calls for a swift move to civilian rule following the early-April ouster of strongman ruler of more than 30 years, Omar al-Bashir. Tens of thousands of people have been camped outside the military’s headquarters demanding more change. Despite the military negotiating with protest leaders over the makeup of a new government, it confirmed the deadly clashes saying it was targeting criminal activity. The American and UK embassies called on the military to stop, and the UN called for an independent investigation.
TRUMP MAKES HIS PRESENCE FELT
US President Donald Trump and wife Melania arrived in London last night and spent the first day with the Queen (who has seen a president or two in her time...) before heading to a fancy state dinner. But it wasn’t all smooth sailing - Trump hadn’t even got off the plane before he’d insulted London's mayor... The Trumps have undertaken the trip to participate in events marking the 75th anniversary of the WWII D-Day landings in Normandy later this week. Joining him will be UK PM Theresa May as she wraps up her final week in office (a situation Trump was happy to comment on...). French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who have been through one of these with Trump in the recent past, will join in. And our very own PM Morrison will also be there where he can thank the President for keeping our aluminium exporters off his tariff hit list. Now that is a friendly gesture…
INTEREST RATE CUT TODAY?
Giddy-up… The first Tuesday of the month is here again, and economic/financial types are all a-quiver in anticipation of an interest rate cut today. The Reserve Bank board is meeting to consider dropping rates (for the first time since August 2016) from the record low level of 1.5% to 1.25% - something that has been flagged by Governor Philip Lowe. However, some business leaders and economists have rallied in the last couple of days to encourage Lowe and Co to hold off fearing it’s a shot in the locker the economy might need in more difficult times. Tune in at 2.30pm to see which way it goes…
AND FOR TODAY’S CONVERSATION STARTER…
From Jancee Dunn, author of How Not To Hate Your Husband After Kids, comes this column for the New York Times, “My Marriage Has a Third Wheel: Our Child”. Ooh-wee there’s some online chatter about it…
SQUIZ THE DAY
2.30pm (AEST) - Reserve Bank interest rate decision announced
7.30pm - Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe to address the business community at a board dinner - Sydney
30th anniversary of China’s Tiananmen Square Massacre
ABS Data Releases - Retail Trade, April; Balance of Payments and International Investment Position, March; Government Finance Statistics, March
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