Squiz Today / 09 August 2019

Squiz Today – Friday, 9 August



Or more than A$400 - that’s the fine for sitting down on Rome’s iconic Spanish Steps. It's one of many new rules that crackdown on “uncouth” behaviour at Italy’s historic sites - ‘messy eating’, jumping into fountains and singing while drunk on public transport is also out. Rumours that Contiki Tours have been banned from entering the country are unconfirmed…


It was last Friday’s discovery of a sleeping bag in the Nelson River by a local tour guide that put the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on the right track to finding the bodies yesterday of two young men believed to be suspected killers Kam McLeod (19yo) and Bryer Schmegelsky (18yo). The murders of Aussie Lucas Fowler (23yo), American Chynna Deese (24yo) and Canadian botany professor Leonard Dyck last month led to the biggest manhunt in Canada’s history.

Three quick points to note:

• After two weeks of searching the heavily-wooded area around the small township of Gillam in Manitoba, the sleeping bag led to police helicopters finding a damaged aluminium boat on the bank of the river. Police then concentrated their search for the pair in that area - and that led to the discovery of two bodies yesterday.

• McLeod and Schmegelsky travelled more than 3,300km since mid-July, but they didn’t get far in the last couple of weeks. Even though authorities searched 11,000 square/km around Gillam, they were found just 8km from where their burnt-out vehicle was discovered on 22 July, about 50km northeast of the town.

• But it’s not yet 'case closed'. The investigation into the murders continues even though authorities believe the duo were the killers. Police say it will be difficult to determine their motive, but they are sure the killings are connected.

British Deese, brother of Chynna - "We are speechless."

Gillam Mayor Dwayne Forman speaking of the emotional rollercoaster his community has been on - "The closure is here for Gillam and the Fox Lake area. But the closure for the victims' families is far from over."

Stephen Fowler, father of Lucas, at his memorial service last weekend - "We are so happy that Lucas and Chynna found each other… We'd so looked forward to having Chynna in our family. Her mother tells us that Chynna wanted their children to have an Aussie accent."




The Teacher’s Pet podcast may prejudice the Chris Dawson murder trial, according to NSW’s Deputy Chief Magistrate Michael Allen. It’s been pulled from The Australian’s website, but the court yesterday heard it is still being circulated on social media. Allen said the popularity of the podcast means there is “potential for unfairness to any accused person that received this level of scrutiny so broadly and for such a long period of time." Dawson, who is also facing an historical charge of carnal knowledge of a minor, has pled not guilty to the charge of murdering his wife Lynette in 1982. The matter will return to court in September.


China has hit back at Liberal MP Andrew Hastie who has likened the current attitude of the Western world towards China to that of nations that allowed the rise of Nazi Germany back in the 1930s. A spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy said the remarks were “detrimental to China-Australian relations”. Prime Minister Scott Morrison distanced himself from the views that Hastie expressed in an opinion piece published yesterday in The Sydney Morning Herald/Age, and emphasised the importance of China’s relationship with Australia. The former SAS officer is free to state his opinion given he does not hold a ministerial position, Morrison said. However, Labor noted his role as chair of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security means he’s more than a humble backbencher. Meanwhile, those papers this morning say our government is concerned about reports of China's plans for a military base in Cambodia - a move China denies it's making.


Pollie-watchers’ eyes will be on Cairns today as PM Morrison pushes state and territory leaders to clean up their act on plastic recycling. It’s the first Council of Australian Governments meeting since the federal election, and Morrison wants bolder targets for recycling. There are also growing concerns about the shortcomings of Australia’s curbside recycling program.  The issue has come to a head this year with several South-East Asian countries refusing to accept imported waste. Also on the COAG agenda: a push by NSW for a review of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, vocational education reforms that would standardise quality and regulatory standardsacross Oz, and domestic violence and mental health services.

And while we have you… One premier who will have to sprint to Cairns this morning is NSW’s Gladys Berejiklian. She remained in Sydney to exercise her conscience vote for historic abortion law reforms that passed the state’s lower house last night. The bill now goes to the upper house for debate over the next couple of weeks.


Indian PM Narendra Modi has addressed the nation on his government’s decision to revoke Kashmir’s autonomy. It will be a “new era” for the contested region, he said. For 70 years under Article 370 of India’s constitution, the country’s only Muslim-majority state was able to set its own constitution and laws. India says the move was made to integrate the state with the rest of the country, but neighbouring Pakistan - which administers part of Kashmir - has vowed to fight the move citing concerns about ethnic cleansing, although it yesterday ruled out military options. The UN has also expressed its concern that the new restrictions will harm human rights in the region.


First things first. Did you know there was a ‘back-up’ of Earth that was sent into space in case something goes really wrong here? Yep, that happened. But that mission went awry when the spaceship equivalent of Noah’s Ark crashed on the moon in April leaving a bunch of horrifyingly ugly tardigrades - also known as “water bears” or “moss piglets” - stranded. The tiny creatures, which are under a millimetre long and highly resistant to radiation and extreme temperatures, are thought to be alive. As for the rest of the ship’s contents, researchers are hoping the 30 million-page virtual library survived the impact of the crash so that one day, our descendants or other life forms can regenerate the human race, plants and animals. Just when you think you’ve seen it all…


With all the hype about Quentin Tarantino’s new movie, Once Upon A Time In Hollywoodthis is a timely explainer about the Manson Family. If you’re younger than a certain age and don’t know much about that horrifying chapter of American history, it’s a wild story.

Want to impress with your up-to-date pop culture references this weekend? You’re nobody if you’re not on top of ‘30-50 feral hogs’... And for some analysis about why it became a thing, try this.

Priority #1 this weekend - make this cobbler. It’s a good/easy one for a cold Saturday night in front of the telly.


9.30am (AEST) -  Philip Lowe, Governor of the Reserve Bank, to appear before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics - Canberra

11.30am (AEST) - Release of the Reserve Bank’s Statement on Monetary Policy

Council of Australian Governments Meeting - Cairns

Start of the Conservative Political Action Conference - Sydney

Start of the Hajj, a five-day pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia that is a once-in-a-lifetime obligation for all Muslims who have the physical and financial ability to undertake the journey

Red Nose Day

International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

Singapore’s National Day

Start of National Science Week

Ecuador’s National Day

Actor Chris Hemsworth’s birthday (1983)

Anniversary of the death of actor/comedian Robin Williams (2014)

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