Squiz Today / 21 December 2017

Squiz Today – Thursday, 21 December


“I honestly never thought we’d be talking about this happening, but I’m so thankful to everyone who embraces this song as part of their holiday tradition.”

Twenty-three years after its initial release, Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’ has finally hit the US top ten. What’s to blame for this atrocity? Access to the track via streaming services. Bah humbug.


Western Australia will have to pay barrister Lloyd Rayney $2.62 million - one of the biggest defamation payouts in Australian legal history. Rayney yesterday won his case against the state over a 2007 police press conference where he was named by the then-head of the Major Crime Squad Jack Lee as the “prime” and “only” suspect in investigations into his 44yo wife Corryn’s murder. Rayney was arrested in 2010 for the crime and was acquitted in 2012.

The 2007 murder of Corryn Rayney in Perth was a high profile and controversial case. She was a Supreme Court registrar who disappeared after a boot-scooting class, and her body was found eight days later in the CBD-adjacent Kings Park. Police were quick to focus on Lloyd for a number of reasons including:

• Evidence the marriage was breaking down.

• Corryn had liquidambar pods in her hair when she was found, and the family home had that type of tree in the front yard.

• Lloyd’s behaviour and lack of cooperation with police in the weeks following her death.

Lloyd maintained his innocence and was found not guilty. He says police failed to properly investigate his wife’s murder, particularly the fact that two violent offenders lived near their home.

Rayney’s lawyers argued his reputation was ruined by the statements and the damage continues to this day. He wanted $10.7 million in compensation for the distress and anxiety he and his family have suffered. But yesterday he was awarded almost $850,000 in general damages and more than $1.7 million for lost earnings in the three years between the press conference and his arrest in 2010. His lawyer said Rayney has not yet received an apology from the police.


Rugby League footballer Jarryd Hayne has been accused of raping a young Californian woman two years ago when he was playing for US NFL team, the San Francisco 49ers. The woman made a complaint to police some months after the alleged incident but was told there was not enough evidence to charge Hayne. So she's filed a civil suit with a Californian Court, and in an affidavit the woman identified as J.V. said she was extremely intoxicated on the night in question. Hayne “unequivocally and vehemently” denies the accusations. He left NRL team, the Gold Coast Titans, at the end of last season to join the Parramatta Eels; they say they’re monitoring the situation.

The US Congress has passed legislation that will result in the biggest overhaul of their tax system in more than 30 years. Whoop-de-do, you say? It’s a yuuuge win for US President Donald Trump. And it will have implications for our political debate in 2018. Of particular note, the US corporate tax rate is set to drop from 35% to 21%. Australia's company tax rate is 30%, and Treasurer Scott Morrison has been advocating for $65 billion in company tax cuts here to improve our international competitiveness. Labor says that’s unaffordable. Get ready to play that on repeat next year.

Let's go back a bit. There was the upheaval of Catalonia's illegal referendum in October and subsequent moves to separate from Spain. Then Spain sacked the Catalan regional government, and Catalonia's regional president Carles Puigdement fled to Belgium, where he remains. So Catalans are going back to the polls today to elect a new regional government. Pundits are tipping a result that won’t deliver a majority for the pro-independence movement. If we can find some coverage of the results coming in, we'll pair it with some sangria. There truly is a tipple for every election event.

Facebook is rolling out new facial recognition features, one of which means you’ll be notified if someone posts a photo of you, even if you haven’t been ‘tagged’. Facebook says it’s to help users control the use of their image. They’ll also notify you when someone uses your pic as a profile picture to assist you with monitoring for impersonators. And there will be a feature where pictures are described to the visually impaired, including naming people in a photo. For any of this to work, you need to have the features on your Facebook account turned on. It's their world, we're just living in it…

Lady Flo Bjelke-Petersen was more than a baker of pumpkin scones. She was a well-regarded senator for Queensland for more than 12 years. And she was, of course, married to Queensland's longest-serving premier Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen who was a dominant, divisive and uncompromisingly conservative figure for years in the Sunshine State. And despite the controversies, Flo was loyal to her husband to the end. She died yesterday aged 97yo after a short illness. Until recently she was the organist at her church. We’re going to whip up a batch of these on the weekend as a tribute.

UK Tatler Magazine’s best society weddings of 2017. It has to be seen to be believed…

Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Anne Hathaway, Sarah Paulson, Rihanna, Helena Bonham Carter. The Ocean's 8 trailer was released yesterday, and we're in. The only problem is we have to wait until the middle of next year to see it.

And it’s only fitting we highlight an Aussie Christmas ad – the NRMA’s ‘Long Way’ is a cracker. We’re not teary, you are.


We're going to leave you in peace for a few days. We hope you're able to use what you've read here to wow your family and friends with your amazing knowledge of current affairs over the Christmas and New Year period (and remember to tell your favourite rellies about us).

Thank you for all your support this year. It's been MEGA for us. When we started in March we didn't know if we'd be here at the end of the year. But here we are, all because of you. We'll resume Squiz'ing from 8 January, maybe sooner if we're feeling refreshed.

We wish you a festive season that's merrier than Rome's Christmas tree. Now if you'll excuse us we need to go and lie down for a while...

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