Squiz Today / 04 February 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 4 February


"We are looking for wig sponsors.”

Said Sarah Tinney, organiser of yesterday’s world record-breaking effort in Adelaide to get the most people dressed as Marilyn Monroe in one location, after the effort attracted more willing participants than costumes. Looking at some of the blokes who participated, Monroe might have rethought her famous quote that “the body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.” The effort is on track to raise $100,000 for cancer prevention.


Fresh (or perhaps sweaty...) from the hottest January ever recorded, February is off to a disastrous start. After receiving more than a metre of rain in the last week, Townsville faces more flooding today. The dam regulating the Ross River is more than 200% full which led to the automatic opening of its gates last night. It's predicted up to 20,000 homes will be added to the 500 that have already been inundated with water. Flash flooding is also likely in Ingham and Bowen today as authorities warned that the area is about halfway through the worst of the record-breaking rain. And if that wasn’t enough, weather types are predicting tornadoes today. Tornadoes...

Hot and windy conditions in Tassie created difficult conditions for firefighters over the weekend. There were more emergency warnings issued late yesterday in the Huon area, south of Hobart. Overall, 21 fires are burning uncontained, some since before Christmas, and that's stretched resources and made for some tired fireys. And in Victoria, 49 fires broke out yesterday, including in the Hepburn Springs area, east of Melbourne, and in East Gippsland. Meanwhile, Victoria is preparing to mark the 10th anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires this week.

It is difficult to forget. Around 400 fires fanned by foul conditions burned across the state to claim 180 lives - Australia's highest ever loss of life from a bushfire. More than 3,500 homes and buildings were destroyed as 450,000 hectares burned. Fires around Kinglake and Marysville (affecting many small communities in the area) were the most deadly and were found by a Royal Commission to have been started by an ageing power line that came down in high winds. Many residents are still struggling to cope with the loss of family, friends, animals and property. The anniversary is on Thursday.


The look into the banking, financial services and superannuation industry has come to an official end. And after an awkward handover between Commissioner Kenneth Hayne and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Friday, the Coalition Government’s release of the final report and its recommendations later today is what the industry, its supporters/critics and regulators have been waiting a year for. More than 130 witnesses gave evidence at the commission’s hearings, and 400 witness statements, 6,500 exhibits and millions of pages of documents from 45 entities were examined. Getting in early: Labor leader Bill Shorten. He announced a proposal for protections for whistleblowers yesterday.

The 109 kids who were in offshore detention on Nauru last August have been brought to Australia for medical treatment or are heading to America with their families for resettlement. The government said there were more than 2,000 children in detention when it won office in 2013. Labor, the Greens and independent MP Kerryn Phelps said it had taken the government too long to do anything about it.

Hakeem Al-Araibi, the refugee who lives in Australia and was a former member of the Bahraini national soccer team, has his matter before a court in Thailand today. His lawyer is expected to say that his client is unwilling to be extradited to Bahrain, and that could see him remain in custody in Thailand for several more months. He was arrested at Bangkok airport while on his honeymoon in November last year at the request of the Bahrain government. Former Aussie soccer captain Craig Foster has been spearheading the campaign for his release.

Keeping you up to date on developments with some recent stories...

WEIR CHARGED - Australia’s leading horse racing trainer Darren Weir has been formally charged with breaking the rules of racing, particularly when it came to the use of a taser-like device (aka a ‘jigger’) on his horses. Weir will front a hearing of racing officials today to tell them why he should keep his trainer’s licence.

OPAL TOWER DECLARED SAFE - The apartment block has been declared safe to occupy by engineers. This is the apartment block that experienced cracking on Christmas Eve forcing residents to evacuate.

BRAZIL DAM VIDEO - The death toll from the mine dam collapse in the southeast of the country is now up to 121, and 226 people remain missing. And a terrifying video of the dam's collapse has emerged.

Australian actress Carmen Duncan has died from cancer aged 76yo. A fixture on local TV screens in the 70s and 80s, Duncan’s career saw her star in everything from Cop Shop to A Country Practice, All Saints and Always Greener. She did a stint in the US with the mega-daytime soap Another World, but later said she missed her family and homeland too much to consider a long-term career in Hollywood. She is the sister of fellow actress Paula and is survived by her two children.

For some, it's the day where there's a great half-time show and the best TV ads of the year. But for serious sports fans, it's a significant date on the calendar that works quite well for Australian workers with Mondayitis, access to a screen, and an understanding boss. If you're hope to fake it til you make it:

• The grand final of America's National Football League sees the New England Patriots take on the Los Angeles Rams. It's the Patriots' third final in a row and the first for the Rams since they joined the league 17 years ago.

• Maroon 5 will headline the halftime show (controversially). They will be joined by rappers Travis Scott (aka Mr Kylie Jenner) and Big Boi (from hip hop outfit Outkast). Gladys Knight will sing the national anthem.

• An anticipated audience of +100 million Americans will tune in.

We’ll be watching to keep an eye on the Pats’ superstar Tom Brady (aka Mr Gisele Bündchen)...


10.30am (AEDT) - American Football's Superbowl LIII - New England Patriots v Los Angeles Rams - Atlanta

4.10pm (AEDT) - Release of the final report from the Financial Services Royal Commission

6.30pm (AEDT) - Labor's Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen to deliver the Chifley Oration on 'the future of social democracy' - Melbourne

ABS Data Release - Building Approvals, December

Independence Commemoration Day - Sri Lanka

World Cancer Day

Anniversary of the release of Fleetwood Mac's acclaimed album Rumours (1977)

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.