Squiz Today / 14 June 2018

Squiz Today – Thursday, 14 June


“Undisputed most valuable bag in the world.”

A new European record has been set for the most expensive handbag sold at auction. The 2008 Hermes Himalayan Birkin bag features a white gold and diamond encrusted lock. How much? A$250,000. Not bad for an old bag…


Following a five-year-long Royal Commission and six months of consideration by the federal government, PM Malcolm Turnbull yesterday told survivors of institutional child abuse that he would deliver a formal apology on 22 October. Turnbull said 104 of the 122 recommendations made by the commission that involves the federal government would be adopted, including an apology. The remaining 18 recommendations remain under consideration. No recommendations have been rejected – yet.

Attorney-General Christian Porter said the 18 pending recommendations relate to issues where there's a crossover between the feds, states/territories and local government. One contentious recommendation is to make it an offence to fail to report that a child is at substantial risk, including for priests who fail to report information revealed to them during confession. The Catholic Church disagrees saying there is no evidence that removing the seal of confession would help to protect kids.

Turnbull was clear that the redress scheme that will commence on 1 July is not compensation. “However, it does acknowledge the hurt and harm survivors suffered, and it will ensure institutions take responsibility for the abuse that occurred on their watch by the people that worked for them,” he said. Yesterday, the WA government committed to participate, which means 93% of survivors will be covered by the scheme. A number of churches are yet to join. Survivors of abuse while in the care of the government, schools, sporting clubs, churches, charitable institutions will be eligible for payments of up to $150,000.


In reviewing an extraordinary Tuesday in Singapore, the New York Times summed up the reaction with its “Unprecedented Summit, but No Guarantees” headline. Since then, one detail has been forthcoming with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying the US wants to see “major disarmament” by the end of 2020. Some other things to note:

• “Meeting of the century” said North Korea’s official newspaper. Which could be correct if there were Mentos available but did you see any?

• PM Turnbull gave Trump credit for giving the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula “a red hot go”. And he encouraged everyone to give Trump a “fair shake of the sauce bottle” for his efforts. Look, the sentiment is correct but we might be channelling another PM there…

• First daughter Ivanka Trump’s sense of humour was completely missed by the American media. Or at least that’s one interpretation of her interesting Chinese proverb

Now for the doing…

Not the waves, the interwebs. PM Turnbull yesterday hosted the Solomon Islands PM Rick Houenipwela to announce a jointly funded $200 million high-speed internet cable (lucky them…) from Sydney to the Islands to link its remote provinces to Honiara. Sounds pretty straightforward so far. But the bigger story is the Solomons had previously done a deal with Chinese telco Huawei to build the link but reports say Australia stepped in and agreed to fund most of the project. That’s pushed China from what the government considers our backyard. It's been a rough trot for Huawei – the Australian Financial Review reports this morning (paywall) that security concerns will likely see it excluded from the building of our 5G network.

And while we have you… Also making waves is One Nation Senator Brian Burston. He’s expected to quit the party today after spectacularly falling out with leader Pauline Hanson. He'd hung on like a racoon to a tall building

Volkswagen has been hit with a A$1.55 billion fine in Germany for dodgying up diesel engines to beat emissions tests. It is one of the highest fines ever imposed on a company in Germany. The scandal involved 10.7 million vehicles being sold worldwide between 2007 and 2015 "with an impermissible software function”. Volkswagen admitted the breach in 2015 and says it will not appeal the fine. But it’s not the end. The company and several senior executives still face legal proceedings in Europe and the US.

Japan has lowered the official age their young people become an adult from 20 to 18. Coming into effect in 2022, it is the first time since 1876 that the age has been changed. It also lowers the age their crazy young people will be able to get married without their parents' consent. But they'll still have to wait until 20yo to legally drink, smoke and gamble.

A new study shows getting not too much, not too little, but just the right amount of sleep can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Apparently, there is such a thing as too much sleep – 10 hours plus. And too little is less than six hours. Going outside those markers was associated with metabolic syndrome. Just another thing to lose sleep about…

With one of the sporting calendar’s highlights kicking off today, the World Cup hosted by Russia will see many bleary-eyed soccer fans amongst us over the next month. Australia is in Group C and will make its first appearance against France on Saturday night our time. Which is the long way to draw your attention to the smartly dressed Nigerian team (note the snappy shoes…). If you’re the sort of person who places a bet based on a jockey’s colours and backing Australia isn't a priority (gasp!), they could be the team for you.


ABS Data Release - Labour Force, May

First anniversary of the Grenfell Tower Fire Tragedy that killed 80 people and injured 74

World Blood Donor Day

International Bath Day

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