Squiz Today / 26 March 2018

Squiz Today – Monday, 26 March


“Gives me the willies.”

Is how Tesla, SpaceX and South Australia’s battery tsar Elon Musk described Facebook, so all accounts relating to his businesses were deleted. Feud = escalated


Australia’s cricket team cheats. That’s the conclusion the world has come to after Aussie player Cameron Bancroft was caught tampering with the ball during a test match in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday. And captain Steve Smith said he and the team’s leadership group authorised the plan. Smith and deputy David Warner last night stood aside from their leadership duties, and we went on to lose the match by 322 runs.

While Australia was fielding on Saturday, Bancroft was caught roughing up the ball with debris on a piece of yellow tape. The plan was to make it easier for our bowlers to get the ball to swing, causing havoc for South Africa’s batsmen. After he was caught on camera, Bancroft fessed up to ball tampering. He’s lost demerit points and will forfeit 75% of his match fee. Steve Smith lost his entire match fee and has been suspended from playing in the next test, starting Friday. Cricket Australia said last night it's heard Aussie cricket fans' outrage and would investigate before making any big decisions about the players' futures.

Three points:

PM Malcolm Turnbull yesterday put it in perspective; “I have to say the whole nation who holds those who wear the baggy green up on a pedestal - about as high as you can get in Australia, higher than any politician that’s for sure.”

• Former captain Michael Clarke made some good points about Smith delegating the tampering to Bancroft; “As a leader you can’t ask someone to do something that you’re not willing to do yourself.”

• And mud sticks. Watching Smith and Bancroft’s press conference, it didn’t look like the prospect of being called cheats for the rest of their careers had registered. “We'll move past this,” Smith said on Saturday. But pictures of Smith before Sunday’s play look like the enormity of what has happened was starting the sink in...


Canberra’s great, don’t get us wrong. But for the hundreds of pollies and staffers who have made their way back for a big parliamentary sitting week ahead of a break, it helps to give our capital a funky-ish name. Two topics will dominate:

• Discussion around Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership and the Coalition's chances of re-election after losing their 29th straight Newspoll. The Coalition continues to trail Labor 47:53 on a two-party preferred basis. Turnbull is three points ahead of Labor’s Bill Shorten as preferred PM leading 39:36.

• And Team Turnbull’s pursuit of business tax cuts. The Coalition is hopeful of getting the nine of 11 independent senators required to get the plan to drop the company tax rate from 30% to 25% across the line. Derryn Hinch and newly installed Tim Storer are the focus of attention.

Washington DC that is. Just roll with it… Again, two things to note:

• US President Donald Trump wants to fight. He’s taking aggressive stances on: defence (by sacking national security adviser HR McMaster and replacing him with the more hawkish John Bolton); trade (evidenced by new tariffs against China); and in the Russia investigations (via changes to his legal team). Who knows what’s next - hold onto your hats!

• And Stormy Daniels, the adult actress suing Trump to be released from a non-disclosure agreement preventing her from talking about an alleged affair, is on 60 Minutes on Sunday night US time. Expect that to pop up in the news today.

Hundreds of thousands turned out to marches against gun violence held across the US. The recent activism of students and concerned citizens was sparked by the Florida school massacre a few weeks ago. A Washington Post analysis (fingers crossed you have some free articles left…) showed that since the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, more than 187,000 students attending 193 primary or secondary schools in the US experienced a shooting on their campus during school hours. 187,000…

SYRIAN REBEL FIGHTERS EVACUATE – After hundreds of civilian deaths, reports say 70% of Eastern Ghouta is now under Syrian government control.

HERO OFFICER DIES IN FRENCH TERROR ATTACK - Lt Col Arnaud Beltrame swapped places with a female hostage during an attack by Islamic State supporter Radouane Lakdim in southern France on Friday. Lakdim, a Moroccan-born French national, killed two others before shooting Beltrame. Lakdim was shot and killed by authorities.

CATALAN SUCCESSIONIST LEADER ARRESTED IN GERMANY - Carles Puigdemont has been detained in Germany and faces extradition to Spain over charges of rebellion and sedition for organising an illegal referendum for Catalonia to break from Spain last year.

A good news sports story... Aussie youngster Thanasi Kokkinakis defeated tennis legend Roger Federer in the Miami Open. It's the biggest win of Kokkinakis' career, and the loss has stripped Federer of his #1 world ranking. Which seems harsh, but onya Kokkinakis. Also through to the next round is Nick Kyrios.


Epilepsy Foundation's Purple Day

Bangladesh Independence Day

Steve Tyler's 70th birthday (1948). He won't want to miss a thing...

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