Squiz Today / 13 September 2017
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 13 September
“We mix different varieties of grapes and after that, we use two organic pigments to turn it blue. Then, we improve the flavour and make it easy to drink.”
Red, white… or blue? Gik is a new Spanish wine and it sounds like an assault on the senses. Made by people with no experience in winemaking, Gik can’t technically be called ‘wine’ in Europe, but its creators are hopeful of finding a market in America. “The US is much more open-minded than Spain,” said a spokesperson in a brilliant piece of spin.
UN UPS THE ANTE ON NORTH KOREA
Ninety percent of North Korea’s exports are now banned after the “toughest ever” sanctions were agreed by the UN Security Council yesterday. In brief:
• Limits will be placed on the Hermit Kingdom’s oil imports and it is banned from importing natural gas;
• It is banned from exporting textiles; and,
• Countries will not be allowed to renew contracts for an estimated 93,000 North Korean workers who labour overseas.
Experts say these measures will significantly damage North Korea’s economy – money it needs to fund its nuclear and missile-testing program. The new sanctions also add to measures agreed in August that ban North Korea’s export of coal, iron ore and seafood.
WHAT’S THE REACTION BEEN?
The sanctions are not as harsh as the US wanted and were toned down to secure Russian and Chinese support. Experts say China is furious with North Korea, but given it has interests to look after (geographically and economically), it will take a staged approach to dealing with them. Russia has a lot of baggage when it comes to sanctions – it is subject to them over Ukraine. It wants the US to do more to engage in a diplomatic response. The US was strident; “Today, we are saying the world will never accept a nuclear-armed North Korea,” said US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley. “And today the Security Council is saying if North Korea does not halt its nuclear program, we will act to stop it ourselves.” For its part, North Korea said the sanctions will "make the US suffer the greatest pain it has ever experienced in its history." So they took it pretty well.
WILL IT WORK THIS TIME?
North Korea has been living under UN sanctions since Kim Jong Un’s dad, Kim Jong Il, conducted his first nuclear test in 2006. So experience says sanctions have done little to deter North Korea from pursuing membership of the nuclear club. This interesting analysis says there are two theories about why sanctions haven’t worked to date – they have either not hit North Korea hard enough, or Kim Jong Un just doesn’t care. Either way, the world will be watching closely for North Korea’s next move.
SQUIZ THE REST
Florida is counting its blessings as Irma continues its journey through Alabama, Mississipi, Tennessee and Kentucky - things could have been a lot worse. Irma’s devastating focus missed the most populated parts of the Florida Keys and west coast, which reduced its impact. Heavy rains, flooding and coastal surges continue to be a big threat across the region. And French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Guadeloupe, one of France’s impacted territories, to inspect the damage and talk reconstruction. UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson (heading to the British Virgin Islands) and King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (visiting the Dutch side of St Maarten) have the same task. Irma's death toll for the Caribbean region has increased to 38.
UN FEARS ROHINGYA ETHNIC CLEANSING
UN human rights chief Zeid Raad Al Hussein yesterday said Myanmar’s military attacks on Rohingya Muslims “seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing”. Myanmar forces say they are responding to attacks by Rohingya militants. More than 370,000 Rohingya have fled over the border to Bangladesh and aid agencies say there is a desperate need for essentials and medical aid. Zeid says UN human rights investigators have so far been denied access to Myanmar.
GOVERNMENT AIMS TO HAVE POSTAL VOTE LAWS APPROVED THIS WEEK
Anyone found guilty of threatening, intimidating or vilifying someone based on their sexual identity could face a $12,600 fine during the same-sex marriage survey. And Attorney-General George Brandis would need to approve any legal action resulting from a breach of the law. That's what the Turnbull government has proposed and Labor says it will consider it. The government hopes to have parliamentary approval for the laws by Thursday night when Parliament rises for a month (leaving MPs with more time for colouring in).
FORMER POKIES ADDICT V THE MACHINE
A landmark legal case was launched yesterday in Victoria yesterday with former gaming addict Shonica Guy taking on pokies manufacturer Aristocrat and Crown Resorts for ‘misleading and deceptive’ conduct. Although she lost a lot of money over years, Guy is not seeking damages. Instead, she wants to prove that the chances of winning on the machines are not what a player would expect. That’s because the fifth wheel of the machine she played a lot has more symbols than the other four (even though it looks the same) and its lights and music makes players think they’ve won when they’ve actually lost. It’s the first time this approach has been taken against the pokies industry.
RESPECT THE WATER
A report on last year’s drownings released yesterday shows the majority occurred in rivers. In total, 291 people drowned at beaches, rivers and swimming pools across Australia, and almost 75% of victims were male. Another almost 700 people required hospitalisation following an incident. The Royal Life Saving Society wants us to be more respectful of the dangers of the water this coming summer.
BIG DAY FOR APPLE
The tech world have wet themselves with excitement over the launch of Apple's new iPhone models. The highlights are numerous but the focus has been on the facial recognition feature and lack of a home button. And there's a new Apple watch with its own internet connectivity/sim card so you can take and make a call with it. Is there going to be no way to escape talking to people?
LOOK WHO’S SMILING AFTER LEGAL MONKEY BUSINESS
Can a monkey (albeit a very handsome one) own the copyright of a selfie he’s taken? That’s been the key to a lawsuit between animal rights campaigners PETA and British photographer David Slater. Slater owns a series of pics from his time with the black-crested macaque of Sulawesi, Indonesia in 2011, including pictures taken by the cheeky monkeys themselves. Long story short, PETA sued Slater on the monkey’s behalf (not making this up) for financial control of the photos and lost. PETA appealed and yesterday an agreement was struck with Slater agreeing to donate 25% of future earnings from the pictures to a charity benefiting the monkeys. We hope Slater’s smile is as wide as that of his monkey friends.
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEST) - Lyle Shelton (Managing Director of the Australian Christian Lobby) & Karina Okotel (Vice President of the Federal Liberal Party) address the National Press Club on 'Same Sex Marriage - The No Case' - Canberra
ABS Data Releases - Household Income and Wealth, 2015-16; Household Expenditure Survey, 2015-16; Agricultural Land and Water Ownership, 2015-16
Westpac Consumer Sentiment Survey
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