Squiz Today / 02 October 2019
Squiz Today – Wednesday, 2 October
It’s where Vietnam’s ethnic Cham people mark the start of a new harvest, and it’s on now. Who are they? They’re a matriarchal society that worships a female goddess. And the youngest daughter inherits the family assets. What’s Kate got to do with it? Dunno. But if you are one, just go with it…
AUSTRALIA GETS A ROLE IN THE TRUMP SHOW
Australia likes to be relevant to the big international stories. But it’s unlikely PM Scott Morrison had designs on a cameo role in the political drama that’s unfolding around US President Donald Trump. Hares were set racing yesterday morning when the New York Times reported that Trump called Morrison in early September to ask for his assistance to settle some old political scores...
Let’s break it down:
• This is about the stinky old albatross around Trump’s neck - his 2016 presidential campaign and accusations that there was collusion with Russia to damage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s electoral chances.
• Long story short - Australia played a key role in bringing to light allegations that Team Trump knew in advance about hacked emails from the Clinton campaign that were released by WikiLeaks to discredit her.
• That happened when 'our man in London', former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer officially reported that Trump campaign staffer George Papadopoulos boasted to him that Russia had dirt on Clinton - before the emails were released.
• Downer's report helped kickstart several investigations into Trump, including the Mueller Investigation. It ultimately found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia but left open the door on accusations Trump obstructed justice.
• Trump now has his Attorney General Bill Barr investigating the Russia investigations with a view to discrediting them. His call to Morrison was to ask for our government’s assistance in that effort, given Downer’s role in what unfolded.
WHAT’S THIS GOT TO DO WITH… ANYTHING?
Good question. Trump’s critics say it points to a pattern of leaning on world leaders for personal political favours. Remember, it was his call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky asking for assistance to investigate rival Joe Biden that got the ball rolling on an impeachment investigation... As for Morrison’s response, he yesterday said; "The Australian Government has always been ready to assist and cooperate with efforts that help shed further light on the matters under investigation." Labor leader Anthony Albanese said Morrison “needs to give some clear answers to what are very legitimate questions about a very serious issue.”
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VIOLENCE IN HONG KONG MARS CHINA’S 70TH
A protestor was shot by police with a live round in a first for the long-running unrest in Hong Kong. The 18yo man was hit in the shoulder and was taken to hospital. Reports say the violence yesterday reached unprecedented levels across the Chinese territory as officers battled large groups of protesters. Those demonstrating would not have been calmed by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s shout out yesterday. Standing in the same spot in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square where founding father Mao Zedong made his famous declaration in 1949, Xi said that China was committed to the "one country two systems" arrangement with Hong Kong, but will "continue to strive for the complete unification of the country". After a massive show of military might, Xi also said: "No force can shake the status of our great motherland, and no force can stop the progress of the Chinese people and the Chinese nation." Some pics from their parade are here.
HARRY & MEGHAN v THE TABLOID MEDIA
The Duchess of Sussex has begun legal action against the Mail on Sunday over a claim that it unlawfully published a private letter. Prince Harry released a statement to answer questions about why they’ve had enough of the "relentless propaganda" from the tabloid media. "I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces." The action will be funded privately by the couple and Harry said any proceeds will be donated to an anti-bullying charity. The media company is yet to comment.
RATES GO DOWN AS HOME PRICES GO UP
The Reserve Bank yesterday cut the official interest rate from a record low of 1% to a new record low of 0.75% amid rising unemployment, sluggish wages growth and flat consumer spending. And more cuts are on the table, RBA Governor Philip Lowe said, if attempts to spark the economy fall short of the mark. The banks are now under pressure to pass the cut on in full. Going up: home prices in September. Analysts CoreLogic said the biggest monthly rebound in two-and-a-half years was recorded. The growth was driven by a 1.7% boost to home prices in Sydney and Melbourne, with Canberra (1%) and Brisbane (0.1%) the only other cities to make gains in the month. Stunningly, Hobart was down 0.4% - it’s been on quite an upward roll for a while.
RIP CURL GOES OVER THE DITCH
Which could necessitate a name change to Rup Cerl? The iconic Aussie surf brand has been bought by New Zealand's outdoorsy retailer Kathmandu in a $350 million deal. After two failed attempts to sell the business in 2012 and 2017, the sale brings an end to 50 years of private ownership with the founders Brian Singer and Doug Warbrick managing to each hold onto 35.5% ownership of the business. Kathmandu is on an acquisition streak - it also bought US hiking boot brand Oboz last year.
THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG…
A massive 1,636-square-km iceberg has broken off the Amery ice shelf in east Antarctica, according to the Australian Antarctic Division (AAD). Scientists say the iceberg - endearingly named D28 - is the size of Sydney. It will be tracked to ensure ships stay out of its way. Scientists say this particular event isn’t linked to climate change with something like this happening every 60 to 70 years. D28 is expected to take several years for it to break apart and melt.
APROPOS OF NOTHING
Talk about the fashion police... Yes, that is supermodel Gigi Hadid escorting an intruder from the Chanel runway...
Kale. It’s officially over.
It’s spinning around, move out of its way. No, really. Get out of the way...
SQUIZ THE DAY
8.30pm (AEST) - NRL’s Dally M Awards - Sydney
150th anniversary of the birth of iconic Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi
Anniversary of the deaths of writer Jamal Khashoggi (2018), musician Tom Petty (2017) and actor Rock Hudson (1985)
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