Squiz Today / 29 October 2018

Squiz Today – Monday, 29 October


“The email has certainly got a few people’s hopes up that they were the newest members of the Chairman’s Lounge.”

Said a spokeswoman from Qantas after an email was erroneously sent to thousands of Frequent Flyers suggesting they'd reached Chairman's Lounge status. Some have even shown up to the lounge, email in hand. No one likes a tease…


Eleven people were killed, and six were injured in the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh by a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle and three handguns. It was the deadliest attack on Jewish Americans in US history. The massacre comes days after pipe bombs were mailed to high-profile critics of US President Donald Trump.

• The alleged gunman is Robert Bowers, a 46yo Pittsburgh resident who was not previously known to police and had a license to carry guns.

• He is believed to be the same Robert Bowers who posted anti-Semitic comments on an alt-right social network before the attack. He was particularly angry about the work Jewish not-for-profits were doing with refugees. He was also critical of President Trump.

• Bowers stormed the synagogue's 9.45am Saturday service. Police responded, and after an exchange of gunfire, Bowers suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was arrested and taken to hospital. The victims were aged between 97yo and 54yo. Federal prosecutors have filed hate crime charges, and Bowers could face the death penalty.

• President Trump condemned the attack saying; “This evil anti-Semitic attack is an assault on all of us.” He also said it could have been prevented if there were armed security guards at the synagogue.

Arnold Freedman, a 91yo member of the congregation who missed the service because a repairman hadn’t finished work at his home, said; “You see these hate crimes, and anybody on either side of the spectrum, right or left, are going to blame the other. It’s terrible.”

Cesar Sayoc, a 56yo Trump supporter/bodybuilder who worked as a DJ/bouncer at a Florida strip club, has been arrested. Reports say Sayoc had fallen on hard times and appeared to be living in his Trump-sticker-covered-van. It’s there that investigators believe he allegedly made the pipe bombs that he then mailed to Democrats Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, among others. Reports say a single fingerprint led authorities to him.


Today’s Newspoll won't help PM Scott Morrison, and his Coalition colleagues kick off the week on a good note. Their two-party preferred standing has gone backwards by a point to trail Bill Shorten’s Labor 46:54. And Morrison's personal standing is in negative territory with 41% saying they are satisfied with his performance and 44% dissatisfied. Meanwhile, consultants Deloitte has released its Trust Index for banking that says just one in five of us think they behave ethically.

A few developments to note in this gruesome story:

• The Saudi’s version of events changed again with their attorney general admitting the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi was premeditated murder, and not an unexpected punch-up as they first claimed. Which goes to one US senator’s point that “you don’t bring a bone saw to an accidental fistfight”.

• That led to Turkey seeking extradition of the 18 Saudi nationals it says were involved in the murder. Request denied…

• Meanwhile, Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancé, has given her first TV interview and said he was worried about visiting the consulate, but didn’t think the Saudis would take action against him. She says she has “found myself in a darkness I cannot express” since his disappearance.

The New York Times says Silicon Valley tech company execs are keeping their kids away from screens. “A wariness that has been slowly brewing is turning into a regionwide consensus: The benefits of screens as a learning tool are overblown, and the risks for addiction and stunting development seem high.” Yikes. And it’s one that is coming up more and more.

Thai billionaire and soccer club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was on board a helicopter that crashed into the club’s car park after a match on Saturday night. Reports say four others were also in the chopper and authorities are investigating the cause of the crash. Srivaddhanaprabha was loved by Leicester City fans for helping the club win the Premier League in 2016 despite starting the season as a 5,000/1 chance.

The highs and lows of sport, eh? We’ll start low with suspended cricketer David Warner walking off the field during a Sydney grade match on Saturday (which was also his birthday). Reports say he was shaken by sledging from the brother of Phillip Hughes, the player who was killed in 2014 after being struck by a ball. Something to the effect of; "You're a disgrace, you shouldn't be playing cricket". Cue debate about the line between sledging and abuse... On a more positive note: how about that Winx? The super mare won her fourth straight Cox Plate on Saturday catapulting her into the sporting stratosphere.

TEAM SUSSEX – After 16 days and a successful Invictus Games, the Australian tour continues with a visit to our seventh state, New Zealand. But not before Prince Harry “smashed Jenny’s pav”. (We promise that’s not code something dodgy....)

FAREWELL SINEAD O’CONNOR, HELLO SHUHADA’ DAVITT – The Irish singer has converted to Islam and changed her name.

VALE RICHARD GILL – The choral and orchestral conductor has died from cancer at 76yo. An educator and advocate for making music accessible, it’s apt that his last public appearance was leading the Sydney Flash Mob through the Beatles’ When I’m Sixty-Four. Seventy friends gathered on the street outside his house to serenade him in his final hours.


Cricket Australia's independent review into ball tampering in South Africa to be released

Japan's Princess Ayako to marry commoner Kei Moriya

World Stroke Day

Turkey's National Day

The Squiz Archive

Want to check out Squiz Today from the archive?

Get the Squiz Today newsletter

It's a quick read and doesn't take itself too seriously. Get on it.