Squiz Today / 25 September 2017

Squiz Today – Monday, 25 September


"Divorce is hard. Sharing custody is harder. Sharing custody with the British Royal family in the unforgiving spotlight of London’s tabloid media is next level."

That’s the outline for a new comedy series currently in development with America’s Fox network. Unremarkable really. Until you see it’s the brainchild of Trevor Engelson – Meghan Markle’s ex-husband. Those involved say the former couple divorced years ago, didn’t have kids and it's not based on their lives. Still, it feels like someone should talk to Trevor about letting go and moving on…


North Korea amped up the agro towards the US over the weekend. In a rare public statement, leader Kim Jong Un accused US President Donald Trump of being “mentally deranged” after he threatened to “totally destroy" North Korea in his speech to the UN last week. North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho addressed the UN General Assembly on Saturday and added to Kim’s statement saying a military strike against the US was “inevitable”. Furthermore, they have the know-how to test a nuclear weapon over the Pacific Ocean, Ri said.

You mean besides more name-calling? US bombers escorted by fighter jets flew off the North Korean coast in a show of force. That made South Korea feel better. According to North Korea’s state media, 100,000 rallied in Pyongyang in support of “final victory” over the US on Saturday. But the US and other powers are hopeful the economic sanctions imposed over the last few weeks are starting to start to bite. And there’s hope China’s increasing pressure will be particularly effective given they are the Hermit Kingdom’s lifeline.

Three things to note:

1. Reports of a tremor near North Korea’s nuclear test site on Saturday night had experts worried there had been another bomb test. Yesterday the South Korean meteorological agency said it believed it was a natural quake. Phew!

2. Iran tested a ballistic missile on the weekend prompting Trump to Twitter-cuse it of working with North Korea.

3. And Labor leader Bill Shorten and Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong took off yesterday for a few days in South Korea and Japan to let them know that a Labor government wouldn’t change Oz’s position on North Korea. With an Aussie federal election a while away, isn’t that the definition of optimistic forward planning!


The Commonwealth Bank led the pack yesterday announcing plans to get rid of ‘foreign ATM’ fees – you know, the annoying fee you pay when you use another bank’s ATM. The Reserve Bank says this happened 250 million times last financial year, and at $2 a pop, well, you can do the maths on how much the banks have been pocketing. Westpac, ANZ and National Australia Bank all followed suit, no doubt ruining the weekends of many banking executives in the process. Treasurer Scott Morrison was not afraid to rate himself by taking credit for the announcement saying the Turnbull Government had been “working hard to ensure bank customers get a better deal and this is further evidence we are getting results."

Cassie Sainsbury’s big interview on 60 Minutes last night was confounding. From her assertion that crucial photos that could secure her release are on a mobile phone to which she’s forgotten the password, to the contention that she worked as a fly-in-fly-out receptionist in a Western Sydney brothel, the interview didn’t give you a lot of confidence that she’s heading home anytime soon. Interviewer Liam Bartlett’s question about mid-way through the chat seemed to best capture the mood; “there are a lot of porky pies being told here, aren’t there?”

Another week, another Newspoll to beat PM Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition over the head with. The Coalition has slipped one point to be behind Labor 46:54 on a two-party preferred basis. And Turnbull has slipped four points in the preferred PM stakes – he’s still ahead of Labor’s Bill Shorten 42:31. There are also some numbers on same-sex marriage – Newspoll says support slipped from 63 to 57 over the last month. Those who say they don’t support the notion polled at 34 with 9 uncommitted.

It was a lovely Saturday night watching the election results come in, thank you for asking. Long story short, Bill English’s National Party won 58 of 120 seats. It’s not enough to form government (which was expected) but it was a strong result given the pressure from a resurgent Labour Party under new leader Jacinda Ardern, who took 45 seats. New Zealand First leader Winston Peters holds the key to what’s next. Peters has worked with both parties in the past so Labour has not conceded defeat yet. Other observations: Kiwi party faithful aren't allowed to hand out ‘how-to-vote’ cards on election day making it a very calm affair. And the new/unsuccessful Opportunities Party had a sense of humour. It held its election night party at Wellington’s Meow nightclub in a nod to its controversial anti-cat policy.

And exit polls in Sunday’s German election show a win for the Christian Democrats and leader Angela Merkel. She now goes to work to secure a coalition agreement with other parties to form government. And in a shock to many, there was a significant swing to the right with the Alternative for Germany party set to win about 13% of the vote meaning it will take seats in parliament for the first time.

London’s transport authority announced on Friday it would not renew Uber’s private hire car license when it expires next Saturday. It's accused the company of “a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications”. In response, the taxi industry-disrupter said the transport authority had caved to a few squeaky wheels. “If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport,” it said. It adds to Uber’s rubbish year of corporate, leadership and reputation disasters.

AFL FINALS WITH AIDO - Adelaide easily beat Geelong by 61 points on Friday night, whilst a resurgent Richmond put paid to Greater Western Sydney's finals hopes with a 42 point win. The stage is now set for Saturday's grand final between Adelaide (last time was 1998) and Richmond (its first GF since 1982). Expect the age-old Victoria v South Australia rivalry to play out. We'll have a match preview on Friday (which, incidentally, is a public holiday in Melbourne, such is that city's affinity with our indigenous game).

NRL FINALS WITH GIBBO - On Friday night, just before half-time of the Melbourne Storm v Brisbane Broncos match my heart was racing. It went like this: The Broncos are in this game. Damn it the Storm score. Urghh the Storm ran away with it in the second half - bye bye Broncos. Saturday night's clash between the Sydney Roosters and North Queensland Cowboys didn’t disappoint. The Cowboys' fairytale run continues. So it will be the Melbourne versus North Queensland in Sydney next weekend. 

And while we have you… President Trump has picked a fight with the US National Football League and National Basketball League over some players’ protesting police violence against minorities during the national anthem. As the war of words escalated, Trump also managed to uninvite the NBA-winning team from visiting the White House. It’s big news over there today.

“If you were wondering who was going to give Milan Fashion Week its most epic runway model moment, the question has been answered.” OMG it’s like Vogue read our minds! Paying homage to her brother Gianni, designer Donatella Versace brought back five runway icons - Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Claudia Schiffer, Helena Christensen and Carla Bruni – to showcase her Spring 2018 collection. As Vogue says; “When you can have girl-of-the-moment Kaia Gerber and her mother Cindy Crawford walking the same collection, it shows exactly how relevant those clothes are.” We’re not sure what that means but we'll find a way to use it in conversation today.


Public Holiday - WA (Queen's Birthday); Canberra (Family and Community Day) 

Active Ageing Week

60 years since 300 United States Army troops stood guard while nine African-American children were escorted to class at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas

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