Squiz Today / 27 May 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 27 May


“Apparently there were sound problems on the Spice Girls opening night and the band would like to apologise - to those who heard it all perfectly.”

Was British comedian Matt Lucas’ take on the troubles that besieged the first concert of the ground-breaking girl group’s reunion tour. There’s no pleasing some people…


Maybe there’s something in the water… Not only has there been a remarkable round of elections here and abroad (think Indonesia and India), two notable leaders have failed to fend off trouble in their ranks and have fallen on swords since Friday.

Papua New Guinea’s PM Peter O’Neill resigned yesterday after weeks of rumbling in the political ranks. High profile resignations of O’Neill's former backers delivered a new crisis at the end of last week and an end to his seven years in the top job. His People’s National Congress colleagues had criticised him for being selfish and secretive with tensions focused on a dispute over a gas deal and a $1.2 billion loan taken out by the government to purchase a stake in a company that became involved in the project’s development. Sir Julius Chan will become prime minister for the third time, but the opposition says it has the numbers to seize control of the government. Watch this space…


• UK PM Theresa May quit as leader of the Conservatives on Friday. After nearly three years in the top job during a time when Brexit has been the only game in town, May tearfully said she had done her best to bring about the departure from the European Union, and she felt “deep regret” that she had been unable to do so.

• May vacates the job on 7 June, nominations to replace her close the following week and after an internal process, party members will get to pick from two candidates before the end of July. The campaign to take her job has started (or rather, continues…) with Brexit devotee Boris Johnson considered the frontrunner.

• There wasn’t a lot of sympathy for May in the British papers. And with senior pollies' Brexit positions hardened after years of politicking, some say the next PM will have just as much trouble working out a way to deliver a formal divorce from Europe as May experienced.



To the victor, the spoils… PM Scott Morrison yesterday locked in his ministerial team with some notable changes. The big pitch was about improving service delivery to Aussies, and so the PM’s pre-Lodge Canberra flatmate/internet loving Stuart Robert has been elevated to Cabinet in charge of Government Services, including the National Disability Insurance Scheme. West Australian Ken Wyatt becomes the first Indigenous MP to take on the Indigenous Affairs portfolio. And a couple of experienced hands are leaving parliament for America. Senator Mitch Fifield is off to the United Nations, and Senator Arthur Sinodinos will become our Ambassador to the US. Melissa Price, who was criticised by the Coalition’s opponents during the election campaign, has been demoted from Cabinet and replaced by Sussan Ley as Environment Minister. The record of seven women in Morrison’s Cabinet has been maintained. And the full list is here.


A 25yo woman died after a brutal bashing in Melbourne’s Parkville on Friday night. Found early on Saturday morning, Courtney Herron was described by police as someone “we as a community should be protecting”. Drug use, mental health issues and homelessness were part of her estrangement from her family, whom police said was devastated by the news of her death. An investigation into whether it was a random attack or whether she was killed by someone she knew has commenced. With the city still coming to terms with the violent deaths of Eurydice Dixon and Aiia Maasarwe in the past year, Premier Daniel Andrews said; "This is not about the way women behave ... This is most likely about the behaviour of men."


British man Robin Fisher on Saturday became the 10th mountaineer to dieon Mount Everest since March. That’s a relatively high number and underscores concerns that the record issuing of 381 permits for Spring (March to May) has put climbers’ lives at risk. Conditions have also been exacerbated with bad weather condensing the available window to reach the treacherous summit. This photo of long queues on the mountain had critics worried that climbers are being exposed to the harsh conditions for longer than is safe. The Nepalese Government denies overcrowding has been the only factor leading to the deaths.


Yoga teacher Amanda Eller was found on Saturday after being lost in a Maui forest for 17 days. Despite having a broken leg and no shoes, Eller had to move to get clean water and food. And if that wasn’t enough, terrible sunburn and infection forced her to contemplate death. Authorities thought she might have been abducted, but her family and friends kept searching for her with a helicopter paid for by a GoFundMe appeal. Eller's mother Julia said; "she's a trouper, man.” Understatement of the week…


Keeping you up to date on some recent stories:

ADANI APPROVALS ON FAST-FORWARD - What a difference an election loss makes… With her side of politics losing the battle for federal dominance, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has put a rocket up her government to get approvals for Adani’s proposed Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin reviewed and resolved. And after eight years and a meeting on Friday, the timeline is now just three weeks. Tick tock.

NEW CHARGES AGAINST ASSANGE - WikiLeaker Julian Assange has had 17 new counts under America’s Espionage Act added to his charge sheet for his role in publishing a truckload of sensitive military information provided by former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. The US wants to extradite the Aussie from the UK for what legal eagles say would be a big free speech test case.

WEINSTEIN’S LEGAL MOVES – There’s speculation disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein has reached a US$44 million agreement to settle more than 12 civil lawsuits. While there would be no admission of wrongdoing, $30 million would go to women who claimed to be victims of Weinstein’s abuse. More civil suits are pending, as are criminal proceedings.


For years, The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft could get no satisfaction with Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in a dispute over the use of a Rolling Stone's sample in 1997 hit Bitter Sweet Symphony. It might have only been rock and roll, but none of the men liked it. Time was on Jagger and Richards’ side, and after missing out on more than 20 years worth of royalties, Ashcroft has finally got them off his cloud. It’s all brown sugar now with the Stone’s legends releasing the song to Ashcroft. Sometimes you can always get what you want


Results of the European Parliament’s election to be announced

National Reconciliation Week

Anniversary of Australians voting in favour of allowing the Commonwealth to make laws for Indigenous people and for inclusion in the Census (1967)

Pat Cash's birthday (1965)

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