Squiz Today / 01 August 2019

Squiz Today – Thursday, 1 August


“There will likely be discussions about online privacy, politics, human rights, and of course, the environment, which makes it highly ironic that this event requires 114 private jets to happen.”

Said one unnamed attendee of 'Google Camp' - a three-day pow-wow where the globe’s fabulous people have come together at the invitation of founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to talk about the big issues. Making the world a better place one irony-free zone at a time…


Just a week into his prime ministership, the UK's new leader Boris Johnson has taken his 'European Union Farewell Tour’ on the road. So far, he’s faced a tough audience. Having made appearances in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales (or Whales if you’re US President Donald Trump…), concerns have been expressed uphill and down dale about Johnson’s plans to Brexit on 31 October no matter what.

It's been an action-packed few days. He was booed in Scotland, which voted against Brexit in the 2016 referendum. And he cuddled a chicken in Wales while reassuring the farming community there that Brexit will be ok. Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, well, there are a few issues there… First, Johnson's government is relying on support from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party to stay in power, so there’s some shoring up to do there. And second, the thorn in the side of the UK’s approach to Brexit - the Northern Ireland backstop - has raised its deal-blocking head again…

Mmm hmm... The Northern Ireland backstop is still a thing (and it's still not a softball position...). Depending on who you talk to, it's either a 'safety net' designed to maintain an open border between the Republic of Ireland (which remains in the EU) and Northern Ireland (which is part of the UK), or it's a device that could leave the UK tied to the EU indefinitely. With the EU still supporting the backstop proposal that killed off former PM UK Theresa May’s leadership, Johnson says it has to go, and the ball is in the EU’s court to work with him on sorting it out. “If they understand that then I think we are going to be at the races. If they can’t compromise, if they really can’t do it, then clearly we have to get ready for a no-deal exit.” We think they call that a standoff



With the Royal Canadian Mounted Police throwing hundreds of officers at the search for on-the-run teenagers Kam McLeod and Bryer Schmegelsky, reports this morning say it is scaling down its search in the Gillam area. And it must be frustrating to them that there have been two significant encounters with the pair since they have been on the run. Before warrants were issued for their arrest, a local man helped them get their bogged vehicle out of a muddy field. And last week, they were stopped by Split Lake First Nations safety officers at an alcohol search checkpoint. The officers had not been alerted to be on the lookout for them. As the search continues into its second week, one expert says it’s not just the police they need to keep an eye out for… The pair are suspects in the murder of Australian man Lucas Fowler, his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, and Canadian Leonard Dyck.


Open a newspaper today and chances are you’ll see a full-page ad from Crown Resorts setting out its responses to the wave of claims that have been made since Sunday about its dealings with Chinese high-rollers/alleged crime gangs. Unless, that is, you’re reading a Nine newspaper like the Sydney Morning Herald or The Age... They decided not to run the ad and instead took a page to outline their responses to Crown’s responses. You know what we’re getting at… Meanwhile, those papers this morning report that the Australian Criminal Intelligence Agency will investigate claims of links between organised crime and Australian casinos.


And sorry, and sorry. You get the drift. Interviewed by ABC TV’s 7.30 host Leigh Sales, Melbourne restaurateur and former MasterChef host George Calombaris said he and his business partners 'fessed up to the Fair Work Ombudsman a couple of years ago that many employees had been underpaid by $7.8 million. With that remedied some time ago and a $200,000 penalty issued last week, he said his business now has the “sophistication in the back end” required to ensure his staff are paid correctly. On his departure from the cooking show, he said that salaries weren’t the issue - it was about carving out time for him (and fellow judges Gary Mehigan and Matt Preston) to pursue other projects. Asked about the toll of the last couple of weeks - well, that stopped him in his tracks


On the up: petrol prices. The price of fuel rose 10.2% in the April-to-June quarter. Going down: fruit prices. They were down 4.1% in the quarter, and vegies were down 1.7% too. But no one likes vegetables, so it's no wonder… Those were the standouts in the latest official inflation figures that saw our annual inflation rate hit 1.6%, up from 1.3% in the March quarter. That’s still a way behind the level of inflation the Reserve Bank would like to see, and it will do nothing to quell speculation of another official interest rate cut. And on that note, the US Federal Reserve has cut interest rates for the first time since 2008.


With former Wallaby Israel Folau’s protracted dispute with Rugby Australia now spilling over into the courts, The Australian this morning (paywall) has detailed his claim. Documents lodged with the Federal Court yesterday show he wants an apology, compensation, and to be able to put his green and gold jersey on again. One date that’s likely to be on his mind is 21 September - Australia’s first game of the Rugby World Cup in Japan. Folau was sacked in May by the code’s governing body over social media posts where he called on “sinners” to repent and turn to Jesus Christ to be saved from an eternity in hell. Folau disputes his termination, and his claim says his social media accounts are "not for any purpose connected to his employment" as a rugby player.


Want to mix it with the dating-app enabled with some terms on modern-day mingling? Then look no further to this guide on paperclipping, trickle ghosting, cloaking and flexing. You're welcome.


8.00pm (AEST) - Start of the Ashes Cricket Series - Australia v England - Edgbaston

ABS Data Releases - International Trade Price Indexes, June; Jobs in Australia, 2011-12 to 2016-17

Canada Day

Horses birthday (just in case Katy Perry’s reading…)

UN World Breastfeeding Week

MS Readathon kicks off (ends 31 August)

Start of Pawgust (for Guide Dogs Australia)

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