Squiz Today / 08 October 2019
Squiz Today – Tuesday, 8 October
“I didn't think we got snakes that big around here."
Said Cairns resident Stuart Morris of a snake skin he found on his daily walk. All 7-metres of it…
AMERICA PICKS TURKEY OVER SYRIAN-KURDS
American forces are set to leave northern Syria, the White House announced yesterday. It’s a move that leaves Kurdish fighters - America’s key ally in the fight against Islamic State in that part of Syria - vulnerable to an anticipated attack by Turkey. Confirming Turkey “will soon be moving forward with its long-planned operation into Northern Syria”, US officials did not say what it expects would happen to the Kurds.
BACK IT UP A BIT…
• Syrian-Kurdish rebels partnered with the US during the complex conflict in Syria. That put a strain on US-Turkish relations with the Turks considering the Kurdish fighters to be terrorists.
• Since Trump announced late last year - against the advice of his advisers and generals - that Islamic State had been defeated in Syria and it was time for US troops to vamoose, there have been a lot of questions about what would happen to the Kurds.
• And now there's something of an answer. Erdogan said it's his intention to create a "safe zone" for Syrian refugees currently living in Turkey, but critics say they intend to remove the Kurds. And now, America is getting out of Turkey's way as it gears up to go over the border.
WHAT’S THE REACTION BEEN?
Overnight, the Kurds called Trump’s move “a stab in the back”. And some of Trump’s staunch allies have also criticised the decision. But Trump tweeted that "the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out", later adding "if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off-limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.” Pundits said Trump’s move wasn’t too surprising because of his campaign promise to get America out of complicated overseas entanglements. And with the 2020 presidential election not too far away, delivering on those promises will be a priority for Team Trump.
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IRAQ AND HONG KONG PROTESTERS v THE STATE
Violent anti-government protests featuring young citizens have rocked both Iraq and Hong Kong over the weekend. In Iraq, more than 100 people have been killed and 6,100 injured in clashes with authorities. Reports say those involved are mostly young men who want an end to corruption, poor public services, and high unemployment. Internet services have been suspended, and while there have been widespread calls for calm, there's fear the uprising will be put down by a government crackdown. Meanwhile, the weekend saw some of the most violent clashes yet between demonstrators and police in Hong Kong. Tens-of-thousands of protestors thumbed their noses at a new mask ban in a three-day “wrecking spree”.
AUSSIES HOME FROM IRAN PRISON STINT
Australian travel bloggers Jolie King and Mark Firkin are back in Perth after being released from an Iranian prison where they had been held for more than three months. The couple said they were “happy” and “relieved” to be home, but noted their compatriot, Melbourne university lecturer Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert, remains in the same Iranian prison serving a reported 10-year sentence for espionage. Purely coincidentally (at least according to the government), as they arrived home, an Iranian scientist who was being held in an Aussie prison was released and allowed to return to Iran. Speculation is rife the trio was part of a prisoner swap.
And while we have you... Detained Aussie Jock Palfreeman could face another two months in detention in Bulgarian before he finds out if he will be freed. A court hearing on overturning his parole was adjourned overnight.
REFLECTING ON DASHED POLITICAL DREAMS
It’s a wonder former PM Tony Abbott and former Labor leader Bill Shorten didn’t bump into each other at the reflection pool they’ve both been staring into in recent days. Former PM Malcolm Turnbull still isn't on Abbott's Christmas card list with that old grudge ticking along nicely. And Abbott's still a Knights and Dames fan (which isn't a musical - we checked). As for a return to parliament, he's game if the Liberals are… Meanwhile, Bill Shorten 'fessed up to some errors in his election campaign, particularly going after retirees' investment income. Asked about any latent top-dog ambitions, Shorten said "You don't have to be the leader to be a leader." Someone needs to turn that into a motivational poster in time for the next leadership spill…
GAFFE-A-RAMA AT THE NRL GRAND FINAL
The tone for Sunday night’s NRL Grand Final was set when the Welcome To Country was abandoned midway by Gold Coast forward Ryan James who forgot the words. But on the field, in what will forever be remembered as 'six-to-go-gate', the Canberra Raiders were penalised by a controversial refereeing call that turned the match in the Sydney Roosters’ favour. And then to top it all off, confusion around who was to receive the man of the match medal left Roosters player Jared Waerea-Hargreaves standing around like a shag on a rock. In the end, the Roosters triumphed by 14 points to the Raiders’ 8 making them only the second team in NRL history to win back-to-back premierships. Which is a thing.
PARIS MEMORIAL UNVEILED
The Paris cityscape, already packed to its stylish rafters with impressive monuments and works of public art, has a new installation with the unveiling at the weekend of a Jeff Koons tribute to victims of the 2015 Paris terror attacks. The massive bouquet of tulips, held aloft by a hand, was gifted by the artist to the citoyens of the City of Light to commemorate the 130 lives lost in the attacks when gunmen stormed the music venue Le Bataclan and surrounding cafes and restaurants. The tulips have been planted near the Petit Palais, just off the Champs Elysées. Like all good art, not everyone is a fan…
SQUIZ THE DAY
Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar – begins at sunset and ends at sunset on 9 October
NAB Business Confidence Survey for September
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