Squiz Today / 09 October 2019
Squiz Today – Wednesday 9 October
If a Tamagotchi mated with a Furby, you’d get this year’s toy tour de force, Rizmo. It 'evolves' the more you play with it, and gets grumpy if you don't. Just when you thought you had enough stakeholders to manage…
CONCERN FOR KURDS CAUSES TROUBLE FOR TRUMP
US President Donald Trump has his hands full fighting on two fronts. He’s facing fierce opposition from within his own ranks over plans to leave the Syrian Kurds - America’s partners in the fight against Islamic State - vulnerable to attack from Turkey. And his Democrat opposition is ramping up their efforts to impeach him.
LET’S START WITH SYRIA...
A chorus of concern was led by Trump’s own leader in the Senate Mitch McConnell yesterday. He said the move to get US troops out of northern Syria would ultimately undermine America’s national security and potentially bolster Islamic State terrorists still in the area. The White House announced on Monday that it was clearing the way for Turkey, its other ally in the region, to move on the Kurdish rebels. As commentators pointed out yesterday, Trump is copping it from his colleagues just as his political survival depends on their support to fend off a growing impeachment threat.
AND WHAT’S THE LATEST WITH THE IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY?
Subpoenas are flying left, right and centre as the House committees look to gather evidence about Trump’s handling of a phone call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. The State Department has ignored the call to hand over documents requested by the Democrats, and overnight it prevented the US Ambassador to the EU from appearing before the committees. The White House also says it intends to ignore the subpoenas served on it on the basis that the House needs first to take a full vote authorising the inquiry. It’s an issue that’s not going away with new legal requests made of the Pentagon and Budget Office yesterday. Pundits say it’s all about the Democrats maintaining their early momentum in the push against the President. But Trump has a different view: “You can’t impeach a president for doing a great job,” he said yesterday.
Looking for a simple guide to impeachment? Our latest edition of Squiz Shortcuts is just the ticket. In just 7.30 minutes, you'll get across what it is - and what it isn't. If only all of life's complications were made so easy…
SQUIZ THE REST
NEW FIRE EMERGENCY IN NSW AND QUEENSLAND
Nearly 1,000 firefighters worked through the night to protect homes around Busbys Flat and Drake in northern NSW. Authorities believe a fast-moving fire destroyed up to 20 homes in the village of Rappville, west of Casino, as locals sheltered in the local public school. Temperatures hit 40C and winds were strong in the area yesterday with conditions expected to ease today. Meanwhile, at least one home burned down in the town of Laidley in Queensland’s Lockyer Valley, west of Brisbane. Waterbombers were deployed to help contain the large fire there.
CLIMATE PROTESTORS JUST GETTING STARTED...
Commuters trying to get to the centre of Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane - and other cities around the world - were the target of another morning of disruptive action by climate demonstrators yesterday. Fifty-nine Extinction Rebellion protestors were arrested in Melbourne for blocking a busy CBD intersection. In Sydney, six protestors were arrested in a bee-themed demonstration. And in Brisbane, an activist who suspended himself from the Story Bridge in a hammock ended his protest after six hours. NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance questioned the wisdom of the disruption to Sydney's rail services planned for this morning given public transport is an environmentally friendly option.
AUSTRALIA TALKS TO THE ABC
Most polls that capture national attention survey just a couple of thousand people. So the ABC’s Australia Talks survey with its 54,000 responses makes for a deep look into the views of our fellow citizens. To start with our personal worries, the survey says we're losing sleep over climate change, saving for retirement, health, and ageing. And when it comes to challenges for the nation, debt and cost of living concerns topped the list, with drug and alcohol abuse and water issues next. ABC Chair Ita Buttrose agreed with those who said Australians have become too politically correct, and she'd like us to loosen up a bit. And what do we feel good about? Australia. Respondents across the demographic groups say Oz is the best place to live in the world. You can see where your views fit with the rest of Australia here.
SNACKING ON THE UP
Mondeléz International, the company that owns brands like Cadbury, Oreo and, most importantly, Tang, is big into the snacking game. So when its boss Dirk Van de Put says consumers say they want more wholesome options but actually buy what he politely calls "indulgent items", it's enough to have health advocates' pull their lustrous hair out. And while the 'healthy' end of the snacking market is growing faster than demand for 'indulgent' items, it's the latter that commands 80% of his company’s snack production. And in good news for convenience food producers, Van de Put said millennial consumers will continue to drive demand via their preference to snack up to seven times a day.
CELEBRATING FLAB AS THE FAT BEARS FACE OFF
You heard us. In Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve, it’s all come down to this. Emerging from their winter hibernation where they don’t eat for months, these grizzly bears have stuffed themselves stupid with salmon and faced their Facebook followers to determine who will be crowned 2019’s fattest bear. Representing the boys is Lefty who’s applied himself to piling on the kilos in the last three months. And Holly is carrying the lady bears' hopes with her excellent feasting form. The social media campaign run by the park is in its fifth year to raise awareness of these glorious animals. Mission accomplished, and may the best bear win…
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12.30pm (AEDT) - Martyn Iles of the Australian Christian Lobby & Fiona Patten representing the National Secular Lobby of Australia to debate the recently proposed religious freedom bill
ABS Data Release - Building Approvals, August; Building Activity, June
Westpac Consumer Confidence Survey for October
Independence Day in Uganda
Anniversary of John Lennon’s birthday (1940)
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