Squiz Today / 13 December 2018

Squiz Today – Thursday, 13 December


“The other night I watched Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai address a packed-out audience. This morning I got acquainted with 2019's Married At First Sight singles. There's never a dull moment.”

Julia Naughton is the managing editor of Nine’s lifestyle websites. She’s a woman with her finger on the pulse of pop-culture, fashion and relationships, and always has a smart take on the serious side of those things. Taking up her time at the moment is The Windsors, a new podcast on the ins-and-outs of the modern royals. Please welcome Julia to the Three Minute Squiz.


Meng Wanzhou, the chief financial officer of Chinese telco giant Huawei, was yesterday granted bail by a Canadian court while she awaits a hearing on her extradition to America over accusations of breaking sanctions against Iran. As that plays out, things are getting tricky on the diplomatic side of things…

You bet we can.

As well as being Huawei’s CFO, the 46yo is the vice-chair of the company that’s the world’s biggest supplier of telco network equipment and the number two mobile phone producer (#1 is Samsung, #3 is Apple). She is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei.

• She was arrested in Vancouver on Saturday. The accusation is Meng deliberately misrepresented a subsidiary company as a completely separate entity in an attempt to dodge sanctions preventing Huawei doing business in Iran.

• China insists she has done nothing wrong and has demanded her release. Huawei said it has confidence in the Canadian/US legal systems. She will reappear in court on 6 February.

Things are a bit fraught between China and the US (and a number of western countries, including Oz…) at the moment. And Huawei, a company China holds up as a poster child in its push into the world, seems to be at the centre of a lot of argy-bargy. Given the delicate times with trade relations and concerns about cybersecurity, Meng’s case was as likely to be as low key as a bloke with a very big sandwich down his pants. Observers say China has already sent a signal with the arrest of former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovig. That’s all good context for US President Donald Trump’s assertion yesterday that he would intervene in America’s case against Meng if it would help achieve a trade deal with China. It’s one to watch.


MAY ON THE EDGE - It was building to this… UK PM Theresa May will face a confidence vote early this morning Oz time. Early reports say it's looking like she will survive – she needs 159 MPs to support her and the BBC says more than 170 MPs have stated they will back her. But it is a secret ballot so let's see… Under party rules, if she survives, she cannot be challenged for a year (which might interest Australian politicians…). If she loses, there would be a leadership contest, and May will not stand as a candidate. May's pitch is that they need to get on with it and deliver Brexit given the people had voted for it in a referendum.

FRANCE TOUCHED BY TERROR, AGAIN – At least two people were killed and 12 wounded when a gunman opened fire near a popular Christmas market of the French city of Strasbourg. Hundreds of police are still looking for the 29yo local man who was known to authorities as a potential terror threat.

COHEN SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS IN PRISON – Michael Cohen was President Trump’s lawyer and fixer, and he had pleaded guilty to the charges. His sentence is the longest of anyone involved with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

With provocative front pages this morning, several News Corp tabloid newspapers have challenged the nation’s judiciary. To pick one, under the headline “It’s The Nation’s Biggest Story”, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph editorialises about the unfairness of a suppression order preventing Australian media outlets from publishing details of a high-profile guilty verdict. Meanwhile, online publications – accessible here but with content generated in foreign jurisdictions - are freely running the story.

Olga Edwards, the 36yo mother of two kids killed by their father in July, was yesterday found dead in her Sydney home. Police had been unable to contact her and found her body when they made a welfare check yesterday morning. Her death is not being treated as suspicious. The nation was shocked earlier this year by the murder-suicide perpetrated in a West Pennant Hills house by businessman John Edwards, who shot dead his son Jack (15yo) and daughter Jennifer (13yo) before turning the gun on himself. According to reports, Olga Edwards has been in and out of hospital since her children were murdered.

Population and infrastructure was the topic du jour at the Aussie government leaders meeting yesterday. PM Scott Morrison had hoped the state and territory big-wigs would back a plan to lower migration numbers and send those who migrate to less congested cities and the regions. Things didn’t go to plan though when an expert demographer told the meeting current migrations levels and destinations were fine… But Morrison turned his frown upside down and said the important thing was a discussion had commenced.

You’ve got to admire the creative flourishes that reporting about the weather inspires. The latest is a ‘zombie cyclone’ that’s going to merge with another weather system to lash Australia’s eastern seaboard from the Northern Territory to Tassie. The severe weather is expected to bring hail, wind and a lot of rain to some areas, particularly Far North Queensland. The main culprits are Tropical Cyclone Owen in the Gulf of Carpentaria and a low-pressure system moving across The Great Australian Bight.

• What Russian President Vladimir Putin looks like with hair? Us neither. But in case you’re curious, his 80s Stasi ID pass has turned up in Germany.

• What’s the next coffee trend? An oat milk latte. 'Nuff said...

• What happened to the guy who was swimming from Japan to San Francisco? He made it to Hawaii and yesterday put the attempt temporarily on hold. Hey, Hawaii is still the US…


ABS Data Release - Australian National Accounts: Finance and Wealth, September

Anniversary of an attack on a Christmas market in Liège, Belgium leaving six people dead and 125 injured (2011)

Taylor Swift's birthday (1989)

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