Squiz Today / 16 October 2019
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 16 October
“Please couldn’t you write about someone less dangerous? Maybe Betty White?”
Was Mia Farrow’s message to son Ronan on the release of his new book that includes claims about US President Donald Trump. Ronan might want to be careful with his mum's advice - Betty White has a dark side…
US MOVES TO SANCTION TURKEY AS RUSSIA STEPS UP
US President Donald Trump has made another phone call to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, this time asking him "to stop the invasion, to implement an immediate cease-fire and to begin to negotiate with Kurdish forces in Syria," according to US Vice President Mike Pence. And as experts worry it’s all too late with Syrian forces heading north to fill the vacuum left by America’s troops pulling out, Russia says it will move in to prevent Turkey from overstepping the mark.
DIDN’T TRUMP TELL ERDOGAN IT WAS ALL OK A WEEK AGO?
Well, senior Trump officials disputed that the President 'green-lighted' Turkey’s plan to move against the Kurds in northeastern Syria in a phone call with Erdogan 10 days ago - although Turkey says that’s exactly what happened. But after stinging criticism from staunch supporters, Trump said he would move against Turkey if it took things too far. And that’s what he did yesterday authorising sanctions on its leaders, reimposing steel tariffs and ending negotiations on a US-Turkey trade deal. “I am fully prepared to swiftly destroy Turkey’s economy if Turkish leaders continue down this dangerous and destructive path,” Trump said yesterday.
AND WHAT'S HAPPENING ON THE GROUND?
Syrian Government forces - who are backed by Russia - are heading north in numbers and taking control of towns they have not stepped foot in since 2012. And as senior Russian Government officials moved to stamp their authority in the region, experts say it’s turned into a significant victory for them and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. And it remains to be seen how it will go down for the Kurds after they invited government troops into their neck of the woods. The United Nations says dozens of civilians have been killed in Turkey’s military operation so far and at least 160,000 have fled the area.
SQUIZ THE REST
FAMILY IN HIDING FOUND
A family of six siblings aged 18 to 25yo have been found living in the basement of a farmhouse outside a small village in the Netherlands. They were discovered after the eldest escaped to the local pub, drank five beers and told staff he needed help. According to reports, the family had been living there for about nine years and were "waiting for the end of time". A 58yo man who was also found at the property has been arrested. He was initially thought to be their father, but reports say that's not the case. The local mayor said, "I've never seen anything like it."
MORRISON UNDER PRESSURE ON DROUGHT ASSISTANCE
It was an interview that started and ended on good enough terms, but there was a fair whack in the middle where Sydney radio broadcaster Alan Jones and PM Scott Morrison did not see eye to eye. The subject - the government’s support for farmers and rural communities doing it tough in the unrelenting drought. With the states looking after animal welfare and fodder, and the Commonwealth handling farmer welfare, Jones contends it’s not enough. Morrison said the $7 billion in federal funds was doing a lot of good - but there’s no “magic wand” to make it rain. Jones backed up with a teary turn on Sky News last night. With water reserves drying up and many parts of the country heading into three years of severe drought, more pressure will be put on the government to extend its support.
ECONOMIC GROWTH EXPECTATIONS DOWNGRADED
That’s what the International Monetary Fund says… In its latest World Economic Outlook released overnight, the IMF predicts our economy will grow by just 1.7% this year. That’s a big downgrade - a year ago it tipped Australia’s economy to grow by 2.8% in 2019. We’re not alone with the fund predicting the global economy will grow by 3%, which is the most subdued it’s been since the global financial crisis days of 2008-09. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government’s been saying there are “headwinds”. But, he says, "We have a AAA credit rating, record labour market participation and welfare dependency at its lowest level in three decades. We are in our 29th year of consecutive economic growth - a record unmatched by any other developed nation."
NEWS FROM THE DOPING FRONT…
Yuri Ganus, the director-general of Russia’s anti-doping agency, said on Sunday that his country has made thousands of changes to drug test results for an unspecified number of athletes. Wait, what? You read that right - the current head of Russia’s drug-testing body said the fix was on. The New York Times yesterday revealed Ganus’s admission that Russia’s data had been dodgied-up to protect the reputations of big-time athletes just as world officials are considering more serious bans against Russia, including their exclusion from the Tokyo Olympics next year.
And while we have you... A report in Melbourne’s Herald Sun (paywall) this morning says doubts have been cast over the Australian anti-doping agency’s handling of the Essendon supplements scandal. The report says the supplement at the heart of it all was listed as a banned substance just the day before the club reported it to the AFL - which was months after players stopped using it.
BOOKER PRIZE SPLIT
Gasp - the judges of this year’s Booker Prize have broken the rules awarding one of fiction's most prestigious awards to the first joint winners in almost 30 years. Margaret Atwood’s The Testaments (the follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale), and Bernardine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other (which is told via 12 different characters) tied for first place with the authors splitting the almost $95,000 in prizemoney. Atwood, the award’s oldest winner, said she was happy to share because she didn’t want to “hinder a person in an earlier stage of their career from going through that door.” Evaristo, the first black woman to win the prize, said she would have liked to pocket all the cash, “but I’m happy to share it. That’s the kind of person I am.”
APROPOS OF NOTHING - HOUND EDITION
How cool is this… Bluey, the Brissie Blue Heeler who’s won a legion of fans with her animated TV show, has been nominated for an Emmy. And the team were pretty happy about it…
Here’s a different way to remember the anniversary of a monarch’s death… Eight puppies related to the pet dog of Thailand’s late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died three years ago, were unveiled yesterday. And don’t you just want to squish their squishy faces…
And then there’s this guy. He’s got the right attitude to hiking…
SQUIZ THE DAY
12.30pm (AEDT) - National Press Club address by Paul Oosting, National Director of GetUp!
5.30pm (AEDT) - Constellation Cup Netball - Aussie Diamonds v NZ Silver Ferns - Auckland
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam to deliver her annual policy address
Annual General Meetings - Commonwealth Bank, Origin Energy, CSL, Treasury Wine Estates
Anniversary of Oscar Wilde’s birthday (1854)
Anniversary of the beheading of Marie Antoinette during the French Revolution (1793)
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.