Squiz Today / 11 February 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 11 February


“After careful consideration the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence."

Prince Philip will no longer be the Duke of Hazzard


Welcome to an election year... And right on cue, the official start of the political calendar will be dominated by a row over border security. Our federal pollies are heading to Canberra for the start of (rare) sittings tomorrow, and it seems every party and independent MP has something to say about a proposal to give doctors the final say about the medical transfer of asylum seekers from offshore detention centres.

You’ve got a good memory. Liberal-slayer/independent MP Kerryn Phelps championed the 'medivac' proposal on her arrival as a federal MP. It passed the Senate in the last week of parliament last year, and it's heading to the House of Reps this week. The Coalition says if passed, it would cost taxpayers $1.4 billion, lead to a resurgence of boat arrivals, and demonstrate that Labor is soft on border protection. Labor says it wants to ensure sick people are treated and says the Coalition is desperate. Phelps says it's an issue voters want to see resolved. PM Scott Morrison is expected to focus on national security issues when he addresses the National Press Club today, and Labor leader Bill Shorten will be briefed by our security agencies on the issue this morning. So watch this space...

Yep. A couple of things…

• A new Newspoll is out, and not much has changed. The Coalition still trails Labor in the two-party preferred stakes 47:53 while PM Scott Morrison gained a point in the preferred PM race to lead 44 to Bill Shorten's 35.

• Hearings in the Aged Care Royal Commission kick off today. Yesterday, the Coalition announced $662 million in funding to lift the general subsidy and help older Aussies stay at home longer. Labor said the money was “too little too late”.

• And pollies from all sides will welcome NSW Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos back today. The well-regarded right-hand man to former PM John Howard is on the right side of a cancer diagnosis and is back in da House after more than a year away.



Our Kiwi cousins are heading into the second week of bad forest fires at the top of the South Island. Around 3,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in the Pigeon Valley (near Nelson) as winds picked up heading into the weekend. Just one home has been lost, and there have been no deaths recorded, which is good news. Disaster controllers last night said the risk was still high and there is no immediate prospect of residents returning home.


It didn’t take long for the tabloid media in the US to target Amazon gagillionaire Jeff Bezos. News in early January of his impending divorce seemed to be just minutes old when rumours of a new relationship with TV host Lauren Sanchez surfaced in the National Enquirer. It’s an outfit that has been front-and-centre amid claims it was involved in deals to help US President Donald Trump. Bezos owns the Washington Post – which has been critical of the President and the subject of more than one of his angry tweets. So when the National Enquirer published "intimate text messages" between the couple, and Bezos started looking into it, things got interesting. Bezos has now taken the (embarrassing) step of publishing details of pictures sent between him and Sanchez himself after the tabloid said they had them. Bezos has also accused the publisher of blackmail. “If in my position I can’t stand up to this kind of extortion, how many people can?” he asked.


The body of Argentinian soccer star Emiliano Sala has been identified as the one found by privately-contracted searchers last week. The 28yo was travelling in a light aircraft to start his tenure with Premier League club Cardiff City when his plane went missing over the English Channel on 21 January. The family of pilot David Ibbotson are fundraising to continue the search for his body. Meanwhile, a legal battle is brewing over the A$27 million transfer fee with Sala’s old club in France looking to collect despite the star never playing a game with his new club. Fingers crossed Sala’s dog is doing better...


This is a bit technical, so bear with us… A bunch of smart scientists got some willing drinkers/test subjects together to see if mixing drinks, particularly beer and wine, can affect the ferocity of a hangover. Two drinking sessions were arranged, many bevvies were consumed, and the subjects were monitored. The result? Drum roll… Drinking too much can give you a hangover. Doesn’t matter if it’s too much wine or beer, or in combination: too much will do it every time. Note: they didn’t test rum (*gag*)...


Fingers crossed this morning for Mr Nicole Kidman (aka Keith Urban), songwriter Sarah Aarons, DJ Paul "Fish" Fisher, Christian band For King & Country and New Age musician Lisa Gerrard. They represent Australia’s music talent at this morning’s Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. And from the sublime to the Eurovision, Kate Miller-Heidke will captain Team Australia after winning a public vote on Saturday night. “Kate is a total original and Eurovision will love her," said the competition’s creative director Paul Clarke. The world’s most confusing song contest takes place in Israel in May.


Royal Hobart Regatta Public Holiday - Hobart

6.00am (AEDT) - British Academy Film Awards (aka the BAFTAs) - London

12.00pm (AEDT) - Grammys - Los Angeles

12.30pm (AEDT) - PM Scott Morrison to address the National Press Club - Canberra

7.00pm (AEDT) - Australian Cricket Awards - Melbourne

Aged Care Royal Commission hearings commence (on until 13 February) - Adelaide

ABS Data Release - Building Approvals, December

JB Hi-Fi to release its earnings result for the first half of FY2019

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Iran marks the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution

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