Squiz Today / 21 February 2019

Squiz Today – Thursday, 21 February


"She is choosing to put her best paw forward.”

That's how Karl Lagerfeld’s cat Choupette is dealing with the death of her designer ‘daddy’. The famous feline is expected to inherit some of Lagerfeld’s $270 million fortune - she’ll need the cash if she’s to keep her chef, maids and social media manager...


Pope Francis’ summit to sort through the Catholic Church’s response to clerical child abuse kicks off in Rome today. It’s an extraordinary gathering of bishops on the most pressing crisis facing the Church today.

Pope Francis has been more upfront about confronting the scandal than his predecessors. But he’s had to be as there is significant pressure to provide leadership following a number of cases involving high-ranking clergy, including in Australia (think Cardinal George Pell) and the US (think the defrocking of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick last weekend). But it's not just about those at the top of the church, there are cases from all over the world involving the abuse of thousands of children going back decades. And they have to unpick the culture of cover-up within the church that allowed evil to flourish - something Brisbane Archbishop Mark Coleridge says must be a priority.

• The summit is expected to go for four days and involves the heads of all the bishops’ conferences from more than 130 countries.

• The discussion will be centred on generating solutions to deal with the clerical child abuse crisis that has touched the church in every corner of the world.

• Given the size of the task, victims fear it will be just another talkfest. But the Pope’s supporters say the summit is a sign the Vatican wants to deal with the blight of abuse.



Police say there is a “glimmer of hope” two young backpackers missing near Port Macquarie since Sunday may be found alive. The hire car, belongings and travel documents of Brit Hugo Palmer (20yo) and Frenchman Erwan Ferrieux (21yo) were found in a car park at Shelly Beach on Sunday night. Terrible sea conditions around Port Macquarie, NSW on the weekend means there are fears for their lives although there's no certaintly they were in the water. They have been in Australia since November on the trip of a lifetime. After three days of air and sea searches, a scaled-back effort resumes this morning.


Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese had the line of yesterday: “They say Helloworld, I say hello conflict of interest.” Travel company Helloworld’s boss Andrew Burnes is also the Liberal Party's treasurer, and he's been at the centre of an uncomfortable couple of days for the Morrison Government. In short:

• Finance Minister Mathias Cormann was the surprise beneficiary of a free trip to Singapore with his family thanks to Helloworld. He paid the money back and said he was embarrassed. Now, just park that for a moment…

• Then reports surfaced that our ambassador to the US/former Treasurer Joe Hockey had asked staff from the Foreign Affairs Department to meet with a business tied to Helloworld before it lobbied for a travel contract with the department. That report was rejected by PM Scott Morrison and Helloworld. Park that for a moment too…

• Turns out Hockey is a significant investor in Helloworld - something that's all declared and above board, Morrison said. But Labor wants an investigation.

Meanwhile, reports this morning say there is trouble around the medivac bill (that deals with the medical evacuation of asylum seekers from the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres). The Sydney Morning Herald/Age says there will be legal challenges over the Christmas Island element. And the Daily Telegraph (paywall) says a legal loophole in the legislation means the government is unable to return anyone medically transferred back to those detention centres.


It’s one of the last pieces of information about the departure of National Australia Bank’s CEO Andrew Thorburn that investors and analysts have been waiting for - how much was he paid on his way out. Yesterday, there was an answer - $1.04 million. "In the alternative reality of executive remuneration, this looks like relatively harsh treatment," said one stock watcher. That's because Thorburn got 26 weeks pay in lieu of serving his notice period plus the leave owing to him - but not any bonuses or special deals. Meanwhile, outgoing chairman Ken Henry says he will not be involved in the selection process for the new CEO or chair.


Analysts were expecting slightly higher wages growth for the October-December quarter but had to settle for 0.5%. That means private sector wages rose 2.3% in 2018, or 2.5% for the public sector. Pretty ordinary, but it's ahead of our inflation rate of 1.8% last year. What are we doing with our hard earned? We're not going crazy at the shops… Woolworths was the latest retailer to report consumer belt-tightening activity. Apparently, we're switching from French Champagne to Aussie sparkling - a sign we're not feeling effluent. Maybe we should change it up with some chardonnay (pronounced ‘cardonnay’ - the ‘h’ is silent…)?


First up, they probably wouldn’t be caught dead spelling ‘cool’ with a k…. So ‘let’s get this bread’ as we ’spill the tea’. We think of you as ‘fam’, and we don’t want you to ever be ‘basic’. So if you want to be a ‘Queen’ and make sure your language is ‘lit’, don’t get ‘salty’ or ‘SMH’. ‘Mood’? Read this so you’re not, like, ‘r/whoosh’...


12.30pm (AEDT) - Adrian Piccoli and Dr Stacey Fox to address the National Press Club to launch the 'Launch into Learning' campaign - Canberra

ABS Data Release - Labour Force, January; Average Weekly Earnings, November

Company Earnings Announcements - Coca-Cola Amatil; Flight Centre; Nine; Origin Energy; Qantas; Star Entertainment; Wesfarmers

Samsung to unveil its latest smartphone models

International Mother Language Day

And this interesting Wikipedia entry - “An Englishman raised in Australia, Bob Fitzsimmons, fought an Irishman, Peter Maher, in an American promoted event which technically took place in Mexico, winning the 1896 World Heavyweight Championship in boxing”

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