Squiz Today / 21 January 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 21 January


“Suitable words of advice have been given to the driver.”

That’s what Norfolk Police said after Prince Philip was spotted driving without a seatbelt, just a couple of days after he escaped unscathed from a crash that left two women with minor injuries. Pity the poor officer that had to deliver that message to the notoriously brusque 97yo...


With the partial shutdown of the American government well into week four, US President Donald Trump yesterday put a deal to the Democrats. In exchange for US$5.7 billion required to build the US-Mexican border wall, Trump says he will grant a three-year extension giving some undocumented immigrants protection from deportation (including 700,000 ‘Dreamers’), and will spend hundreds-of-millions of dollars on humanitarian aid and drug detection technology. "This is a common-sense compromise both parties should embrace," Trump said.

Not great. In short:

• Immediately, the Democrats said, "yeah, nah". Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat who’s just taken the powerful job as speaker of the House of Representatives in the US Congress after her party won control in last year’s midterm election, said the measures were "a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives”.

• Other Democrats added that it was Trump who took away the protections for the undocumented immigrants in the first place. Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer called the offer “not a compromise but more hostage taking.”

• And there were some Republicans coming from the other side of the debate who weren’t happy. They say Trump’s proposal amounts to an amnesty on undocumented immigrants - something they don’t want to see.

So with all that rejection, what is Trump up to? He's losing the blame game, and pundits reckon he's calculated that it's not a bad thing to be seen to be willing to give something to get something.

Ok. On Friday afternoon (AEDT), BuzzFeed News reported that the Mueller investigation (one of the mobs looking into accusations Team Trump colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election) had evidence showing Trump directed his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie to Congress about a prospective property deal in Moscow. “Not accurate,” said a spokesman for Mueller in a rare comment to the media. Why is it a thing? The report more than suggests Trump committed a crime. If accurate (and Mueller's people says it's not...), it could have been the end of his presidency. Serious stuff… Note: BuzzFeed is sticking by its story.


Radical Indonesian cleric Abu Bakar Bashir is expected to be released from prison this week. Bashir was the spiritual leader of Jemaah Islamiyah, the terror group responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings that took 202 lives, including 88 Australians. Nine years into his 15-year sentence, Bashir received a pardon from President Joko Widodo who said his early release was due to "humanitarian considerations" with the 81yo reportedly not in good health. However, commentators say it's more about Widodo improving his standing with conservative Muslims in the lead up to elections in April. PM Scott Morrison said he'd contacted the Indonesian Government to express his "deep reservations" over the extremist's release. Many survivors and families of the victims were upset with one calling it a “slap in the face”.

Two police officers were hit with the one bullet in Glen Innes, NSW, on Friday night. They were responding to a report that recreational game hunter Eric Newman had attacked his wife Lesley. On arrival at the property, he shot at Senior Constable Helen McMurtrie (who was hit in the neck) and Sergeant Mark Johnston (who received gunshot fragments to his face). A probationary constable who had only been on the job for a few weeks helped to drag McMurtrie out of harm's way, and neighbours helped to stem her bleeding. Both were flown to a Gold Coast hospital where McMurtrie is in an induced coma, and Johnston underwent minor surgery. Eric was later found dead inside the house.

Codey Herrmann, a 20yo aspiring rapper, was charged late on Friday with the murder of Arab-Israeli exchange student Aiia Massarwe. She was killed shortly after she left a tram in Bundoora last Wednesday. Herrmann had posted to Facebook "International girl Of mystery You knows who you are" a week before the killing, and was on bail for what police described as ‘property related matters'. He will appear in court today. Meanwhile, reports say her family are anxious for her body to be returned home as soon as possible.

Making it clear that she wasn’t stoked to be giving out so much detail, Federal Jobs and Women’s Minister Kelly O’Dwyer said on Saturday that spending more time with her family and a desire to have a third child was behind her decision to leave politics at the next election. Some said hers was a strong voice for women that would be missed by the Liberals. Others say she was facing a battle to hold her seat in what’s shaping up to be a tough election for the Coalition. She leaves the effluent Melbourne seat of Higgins (where the Greens came second in primary votes last time around) to a potential Melbourne Cup field of Liberal aspirants. O'Dwyer said she hoped her replacement would be a woman, while others pondered a return for former member Peter Costello.

Meanwhile, former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce and partner/former media adviser Vikki Campion are getting on the with the job of adding to their family. Campion is expecting a brother for nine-month-old Sebastian in June.

We’ve totally joined the Barty Party. Ash Barty overcame an abdominal strain (and a very long bathroom break) to defeat Maria Sharapova to make it to the grand slam's quarter-finals - the first of the 22yo's career and the first for an Aussie woman since Jelena Dokic a decade ago. All other Australian players have been knocked out. Meanwhile:

• It’s reassuring that even Roger Federer gets pinged by security from time to time… Maybe that’s what put him off his game last night. He lost to 20yo Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas in four sets.

• Serena Williams was praised for her words of support for a younger player she’d just annihilated on court…

• Broadcaster ESPN was criticised for airing images of Croatian player Petra Martic having a cry in the hallway on her way back to the locker room after a crushing defeat.

Check out Squiz The Day for the games to keep an eye on each day this week as we enter the pointy end of the tournament.

JASMIN PARIS - The Brit ran the 431km course of the Spine Race – Britain’s most brutal ultramarathon - in 83 hours, 12 minutes and 23 seconds, shaving 12 hours off the old record. Oh, and she expressed milk for her 14-month-old daughter along the way…

TOBY PRICE - The Aussie endurance motorcycle rider won his second prestigious Dakar Rally. Oh, and he did it with a broken wrist...

WOMEN’S SYDNEY SIXERS - The Melbourne Renegades needed three runs off the final ball on Saturday. Some magic fielding put a stop to that…


1.36pm (AEDT) - Start of the 'Blood Moon' - it's the only total lunar eclipse of 2019 that will be visible from North America, Europe and the western part of Africa, as well as from northern Russia

7.00pm (AEDT) - Australian Open Tennis - Serena Williams v Simona Halep

8.15pm (AEDT) - Australian Open Tennis - Novak Djokovic v Daniil Medvedev

UK PM Theresa May to lay out her Plan B on Brexit to the Parliament

ABS Data Release - Lending Finance, November

Anniversary of the death of Russian Russian revolutionary Vladimir Lenin (1924)

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