Squiz Today / 15 July 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 15 July


“I simply lost my mind yesterday.”

Said chess grandmaster Igors Rausis after he was sprung cheating in the Strasbourg Open – which is like the Wimbledon of chess. Sort of. The 58yo was ejected from the tournament after photos surfaced of him hunched in the toilet on a mobile phone during the competition. Checkmate.


Relations between Britain and America are set to sink even lower this week after more scathing cables from the UK’s former ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, were made public at the weekend. London’s The Mail on Sunday has revealed how Darroch described as 'diplomatic vandalism' the decision by US President Donald Trump to abandon the Iran nuclear deal to spite its author, and Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama.

Apparently not. The UK last week announced Darroch would leave his post in Washington DC after earlier leaks of his cables in which he described America’s Commander in Chief as “incompetent”, “insecure” and “inept” were published in the UK press. This new round of leaks will heap further pressure on an increasingly strained transatlantic relationship at a time when cooperation between the nations is going to be vital as tensions ratchet up in the Strait of Hormuz, in waters off Iran.

Civil libertarians - and newspaper editors - will tell you the reaction to the leaks has been overblown, with Scotland Yard issuing an extraordinary directive to media outlets that they could face prosecution under the Official Secrets Act if any more diplomatic communications are published. The announcement drew a swift rebuke from media types, including the Sunday Times’ political editor, Tim Shipman who tweeted: “Do you have any comprehension of a free society? This isn’t Russia.”



There was a financial windfall for pensioners at the weekend as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced a reduction in deeming rates. Deeming rates are used by the government to estimate how much pensioners earn on their financial investments - including savings accounts and superannuation. A single pensioner stands to receive a cash boost of up to $804 under the government’s revised rates. The reaction yesterday was mixed, with Labor accusing Team Morrison of making money off the back of pensioners, noting the revised deeming rates were still higher than the official cash rate. Meanwhile, the Greens have called for a Senate inquiry into the issue, while a National Seniors Australia spokesman called for a review saying governments “have been using this for too long as part of their budget balancing process.”


At least 26 people were killed and some 60 injured on Friday night when a suicide bomber drove a car into a hotel south of Mogadishu while a meeting of political leaders was taking place inside. Terror group Al Shabaab immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in which four gunmen roamed the hotel shooting those inside indiscriminately. Two Americans, a Briton, a Canadian and three Kenyans are believed to be among the dead, whose number also included several high-profile Somali journalists and regional government figures who had gathered for the rally. The attack follows months of sustained US airstrikes against the al-Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab which are thought to have killed about 300 of its militants. The terror group was also responsible for the truck bomb in Mogadishu in 2017 that killed more than 500 people.


Large swathes of America's deep south was in clean-up mode yesterday after Hurricane Barry slammed into the coast of Louisiana and made its way west towards Texas and Arkansas. As these dramatic photos show, there was widespread flooding in cities like New Orleans where, thankfully, the storm-surge mitigation systems installed following 2005’s disastrous Hurricane Katrina have averted disaster.  Meanwhile, the city that never sleeps was plunged into darkness Saturday night when power outages in Manhattan left some 73,000 homes, businesses, subway stations and skyscrapers without electricity. Not even JLo was immune. The pop star had to cancel her Madison Square Garden show midway through, leaving patrons disgruntled and the diva herself “devastated and heartbroken”.


Police in Victoria’s High Country say cold and rainy weather there means they now have “grave concerns” for a 21yo man who went missing on Thursday afternoon. Poshik Sharma was last seen leaving a pub in Marysville following what reports say was a disagreement with his travelling companions. Overnight snow in the region has hampered the search effort which was yesterday expanded and included SES volunteers and police sniffer dogs. A police spokesman has described Sharma's disappearance as 'out of character'.


MEN’S - Talk about drama! In what was the longest men’s singles final in Wimbledon history at just under 5 hours, Novak Djokovic has beaten Roger Federer overnight. The unflappable Serb took the thrilling match and his fifth Wimbledon title after an agonising series of tie-breakers, winning 7-6, 1-6, 7-6, 4-6, 13-12.

WOMEN’S - Earlier in the weekend, a near-perfect performance on Wimbledon centre court saw Romania’s Simona Halep take out the women's singles title on Saturday, making fast work of her opponent Serena Williams, despatching with the American champ 6-2, 6-2 in only 56 minutes. Halep made only three unforced errors in the match.

DYLAN - Let's face it, Aussie wheelchair tennis champ Dylan Alcott is so fab he deserves his own category. A fabulousness he underscored at Wimbledon on the weekend by winning the inaugural quad wheelchair singles final. It’s Alcott’s fourth straight grand slam title and ninth in total, a feat described by the laconic sporting star as “a bloody dream come true”.

And while we have you... There was a cricket match overnight. Some World Cup thing. And it was another nailbiter, with the score level after 50 overs each and only being decided by an extraordinary 'Super Over'. In the end, England beat the Kiwis to take home the trophy. But as we ingloriously bowed out in the semis last week, we'll only give it a passing mention…


If you’re suffering from Mondayitis, at least you’re not Belgium’s Jimmy de Frenne - who last week made a world record 'toilet sitting' attempt, perching on the porcelain for an impressive 116 hours. There is no known previous attempt at this record. Can’t think why.


7.45pm (AEST) - World Cup Netball - Diamonds v TBC

India expected to launch its Chandrayaan-2 unmanned moon mission in its attempt to become the fourth nation in the world to land on the big piece of cheese.

World Youth Skills Day

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