Squiz Today / 12 August 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 12 August


“It's not weak to speak.”

Said Sydney’s City to Surf winner Harry Summers. The former Commonwealth Games competitor was struggling with alcohol issues and depression when he got professional help. And yesterday, he came within two-seconds of breaking Steve Moneghetti’s legendary record, conquering Heartbreak Hill in more ways than one.


Facing a maximum of 45 years in prison, Jeffrey Epstein - the billionaire hedge fund manager charged with assaulting and trafficking dozens of girls as young as 14yo in the early 2000s - died on Saturday from what officials say is “an apparent suicide”. The 66yo was found unresponsive in his Manhattan Federal Correctional Centre cell triggering several investigations into how he was able to take his own life while in custody.

This has been a big story in the US since Epstein was charged in July.

• It was the second time the prominent wheeler-and-dealer, who'd counted US Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton as friends, faced child abuse charges. The case unravelled the first time around in Florida in 2007 when a plea deal saw Epstein receive a cushy 13 months in jail, where he was allowed out during the day.

• Fast-forward more than a decade, and federal prosecutors were taking another shot. Epstein was charged last month, and he'd pleaded not guilty. One early casualty was the prosecutor from the Florida case, Alex Acosta. He recently lost his job as Labour Secretary in the Trump Administration over the lenient deal.

• On Friday, 2,000 pages of court documents from a related lawsuit brought by one of Epstein’s victims - Virginia Roberts Giuffre who now lives in Cairns - were unsealed. The documents outline new details of sexual abuse claims against Epstein and several high-profile associates, including Prince Andrew. Buckingham Palace repeated the Prince’s denial of the claims against him.

Some victims expressed their anger that they will not get their day in court to confront the man they say abused them, shopped them around to his associates, and paid them to recruit their friends. “Epstein is gone, but justice must still be served. I hope the authorities will pursue and prosecute his accomplices and enablers, and ensure redress for his victims,” said one. Senior law officials were perplexed as to how he was able to take his own life while in custody, particularly after he had recently been on suicide watch following an earlier attempt. And conspiracy theories about the nature of Epstein’s death quickly sprang up, including one that was retweeted by President Trump. Investigations into Epstein’s inner circle continue.



A letter from jailed Cardinal George Pell to supporters has attracted the wrath of Victoria’s Justice Department. Circulated on Friday via Twitter, the message dated 1 August could land Pell in hot water. While prison rules prevent inmates from posting on social media and asking others to post on their behalf, The Australian reports (paywall) Pell did not know the letter would make it into the Twittersphere. In the letter, Pell says; "The knowledge that my little suffering can be used for good purposes by joining Jesus, suffering gives me purpose and a direction.” Pell is awaiting a decision on the appeal of his conviction for abusing two choirboys in 1996 while he was Archbishop of Melbourne.


Last week ended with our nation’s political leaders talking rubbish - but in a good way. Coming together in Cairns for the Council of Australian Governments leaders meeting, PM Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders have agreed to ban the export of recyclable waste. A timeline hasn’t been set for the ban with Environment ministers around the country to work out the deets. With 4.5 million tonnes of recyclable waste being sent to South-East Asia for processing in 2018-19 and a number of those countries now refusing to accept it, Morrison said it’s a problem we have to deal with. "It's our waste, and it's our responsibility," he said after the meeting.


HONG KONG PROTESTS - Tear gas has again been fired at pro-democracy demonstrators who were out in their thousands for the 10th consecutive weekend. Defying warnings from China to reel it in, police again clashed with protestors. Other rallies involving families and older residents were more sedate.

CHINA'S MASS EVACUATION - Typhoon Lekima hit mainland China early on Saturday morning with winds of almost 190km/hour. Making landfall in Wenling, strong rain caused a landslide in Wenzhou that’s accounted for most of the 32 people killed as a result of Lekima. A million people have been evacuated, and more than 3,200 flights into and out of Shanghai and Beijing have been cancelled.

TANKER EXPLOSION KILLS MORE THAN 60 - A further 70 people were injured after crowds of people rushed to collect leaking fuel from an overturned tanker in Morogoro, Tanzania. The truck exploded 20 minutes after it crashed on Saturday morning.


It’s almost snowing in Queensland. That’s how ridiculously cold it was in some parts of Oz this weekend. Snow was also a feature across NSW’s Blue Mountains and Victoria’s Dandenong Ranges with authorities warning drivers to be extra careful. And you had to be a committed fan to head to the AFL in Canberra on Saturday night… All in all, the cold snap has been good news for skiers, and bad news for dogs having problems finding the snowballs thrown for them. Today’s still a warm-socks-plus-ugg-boots kinda day (unless you’re in Perth or Darwin which should be beautifully balmy) and then temperatures will warm up through the week.


US gymnast Simone Biles wasn’t the only on the nail a record-breaking landing on the weekend… The Wallabies 47-26 Bledisloe Cup victory over Kiwiland’s All Blacks was our national rugby team’s biggest ever win over our arch-footy-nemesis. After a long struggle with form and with the code reeling from its legal stoush with its former best player Israel Folau, it was a breakthrough welcomed by long-suffering fans. Next up - tackling their 33-year curse at Auckland’s Eden Park. It’s enough to get rugby-types excited about September’s World Cup in Japan…


“The fun comes in the shape of a helter skelter,” is something you wouldn’t expect an official from the Church of England to utter. But Canon Andy Bryant has installed a whopping big slippery dip inside the Norwich Cathedral for a few weeks to allow people to literally see the church differently in the hope it sparks new conversations about God. Some traditionalists are not amused. Then again it could be housing a mini-golf course


Company Earnings Results - GPT Group; Bendigo and Adelaide Bank; JB Hi-Fi

World Elephant Day

International Youth Day

Birthdays for Karl Stefanovic birthday (1974) and Jesinta Franklin (1991)

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