Squiz Today / 08 July 2019

Squiz Today – Monday, 8 July


“She might like it.”

Said pipe-layer-turned-sculptor Ales Zupevc of his striking wooden statue of US First Lady Melania Trump which has appeared near her Slovenian hometown. Fashioned with a chainsaw and bearing little resemblance to the former model, he says it's a serious artistic effort. And while there's been some anger about the project, "I'm pleased with myself," Zupevc said. And isn't that the main thing?


Alek Sigley, the only Aussie thought to be living in North Korea (until last week…), has been accused by the secretive state of spying for "anti-DPRK" news organisations. The message was delivered by North Korea's KCNA news agency which claims Sigley was caught “red-handed” collecting photos and information on the nation and had "honestly admitted his spying acts” before he was released from detention and allowed to leave out of “humanitarian leniency”.

Sigley had shared some of the details of his life as a student and tour operator in North Korea on his social media accounts and through columns he’d written for Western media outlets. And while North Korea has taken a different view, the 29yo’s posts and articles highlighted the personal freedom he had there. One column published by The Guardian highlighted North Korea’s modern conveniences. The CEO of America’s NK News, Chad O’Carroll, also rejected the accusation. "Alek Sigley's well-read columns presented an apolitical and insightful view of life in Pyongyang,” he said. For his part, Sigley thanked everyone who came to his aid but has not outlined the circumstances of his detention.

Yep. Our Defence Force is keeping its high-tech eyes on a high-tech Chinese spy ship that’s heading our way to monitor war games we’re playing with the United States and Japan to the north of Australia. The Esme Watson of the seas, China’s vessel is equipped with communications systems designed to eavesdrop on the exercises. What are we doing about it? "It's a vessel that collects information, so it's not a great threat, but we'll take appropriate action," said Chief of Defence Joint Operations, Lieutenant General Greg Bilton.



Iran announced last night that it would breach the agreement it made to curb its nuclear capabilities. In the latest step to make a point about the economy-killing sanctions imposed on it by America when it left the agreement last year, Iran says it will break the deal it still has with France, the UK, Germany, Russia and China by enriching uranium beyond agreed limits. That’s a problem because enriched uranium can be used to make nuclear weapons. Iran says it will reduce its commitment to the agreement every 60 days unless moves are made to protect it from America’s sanctions.


After months of conflict between the military and demonstrators, an agreement has been struck to share power until an election can be held in three years. The ruling military council will be in charge for the first couple of years, and then a civilian administration will take over. Sudan has been in turmoil since the military ousted strongman dictator President Omar al-Bashir in April. More than 100 people have been killed in clashes between pro-democracy demonstrators and the military council since then. There were said to be “frenzied street celebrations” as a result of the agreement.


After nerves were rattled by Thursday’s 6.4 magnitude earthquake in southern California, they were totally jangled by Friday’s 7.1 magnitude trembler. Experts say Friday's major earthquake was centred near Ridgecrest, and it released 11 times the amount of energy of Thursday's quake. Residents headed outside for the night to stay clear of shaking buildings while on-air newsreaders freaked out. And it’s not over: more than 4,700 quakes have occurred since Thursday, 3,000 of which have measured in excess of magnitude 1. Experts are expecting more tremors, but not over magnitude 7.


No, it wasn't a rainy London summer's day - it was Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor's christening. And some royal-watchers' feathers were ruffled with the public and media kept as far away from it as the UK ambassador to the US will be kept from the White House… But pictures were released on Harry and Meghan’s Insta account. What is known is that holy water from the River Jordan was used for the ceremony, as per royal tradition. Archie wore a handmade replica of the royal christening robemade for Queen Victoria's eldest daughter. And while the Queen was unable to get there, Lady Jane Fellowes and Lady Sarah McCorquodale - Diana’s sisters - were there. Archie's godparents have not been named, but speculation has become their new national sport.


BARTY’S DISNEY MOMENT - The last remaining Aussie at Wimbledon, Ash Barty made mincemeat of Harriet Dart on Saturday night and has advanced to the round of 16 for tonight’s game against American Alison Riske. What Disney moment will she troll the media with after the match?

US WINS WOMEN’S SOCCER WORLD CUP - Team USA finished off a dominating performance in France to claim the title 2-0 against the Netherlands. It’s the second consecutive tournament win and fourth cup in total - both are records. They are now tackling equal pay.

WOMEN’S ASHES LOOKING GOOD - From an Australian perspective, that is… Our side smashed England overnight bowling them out for 75 runs in 33 overs having earlier made 269 runs. The Aussies have won all three games so far. And the men’s World Cup has come down to a semi-final against England on Thursday - win that and they’re through to the final. They lost in the last over to South Africa in a thriller on Saturday night.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL HIGH - Aussie women Taliqua Clancy and Mariafe Artacho took out bronze in the Beach Volleyball World Championships on the weekend - our best performance since 2003.

FOR THE LYCRA LOVERS - There are two Aussies - Michael Matthews and Caleb Ewan - in the Tour de France top 10. Two days down, 21 to go…


Never heard of him? Chances are you have heard his music. A pioneer of the bossa nova, Joao Gilberto brought its swaying samba rhythm to the world. The Brazilian's unique guitar playing and the compelling beat was a big deal in the 1960s with his hit song The Girl from Ipanema forging a path for the new sound. Some reports say the song is the second most recorded pop song in history, with The Beatles’ Yesterday pipping it for the top spot. Sadly for the past decade, João Gilberto lived alone in Rio de Janeiro struggling with mental health and financial issues, his friends said. His death was confirmed on Saturday, the cause not announced. He was 88yo.


8.00pm (AEST) - Wimbledon - Ash Barty v Alison Riske

ABS Data Release - Participation, Job Search and Mobility, 2019

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