Squiz Today / 24 January 2019

Squiz Today – Thursday, 24 January


"The opposing teams will walk towards each other in a ladylike manner and enquire after each other's health."

Is number two of ‘Netball Rules For Young Ladies' of the UK's Great Yarmouth High School circa the 1940s. Which is no doubt exactly what the Aussie Diamonds did this week when they took out the Quad Series in the UK. The full list of rules is a doozy...


Queensland rich lister/major political advertiser Clive Palmer yesterday lost his bid to have criminal charges brought against him by the corporate regulator thrown out of court. Palmer claims the charges are an attempt to rule him out of the upcoming federal election. Note: anyone with a criminal conviction carrying a jail term of one year or more and cannot be elected to parliament under the constitution.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission alleges Palmer and a company he was a director of breached the Corporations Act during a failed takeover bid of timeshare villas at his dinosaur-heavy Coolum Resort in 2012. ASIC took until April last year to charge him, and that’s led to Palmer to question why the regulator is coming after him now. He lost his case yesterday to have the charges dropped with the judge saying there was no case for the Supreme Court to intervene.

At a guess, that’s unlikely. Palmer says he wants to run a candidate in every seat across Australia under his United Australia Party banner, including himself in the Far North Queensland seat of Herbert. But he’s a bit busy with legal issues at the moment…

• He was fined this week for causing a crash last year that left a 92yo man and 74yo woman with broken bones. The Courier-Mail yesterday revealed (paywall) Palmer's driving record isn't great with more than 20 traffic and speeding offences.

• Also this week, it became widely known that Palmer has transferred the ownership of his main company Mineralogy to a Kiwi holding company. Sounds complicated, but the long story short is the Kiwi company might sue Australian taxpayers for $45 billion over a dispute with Chinese state-owned miner Citic. That’s billion, not million...

• Cashed up after a legal win against Citic last year, Palmer’s gone on a political advertising blitz. You would already know that unless you’ve been living in Siberia, and even then you probably would have seen an ad or 50,000… Palmer’s not only annoyed voters with unsolicited text messages this summer, but he's also peed off Culture Club and Twisted Sister for using their songs in TV ads and a video game without permission.

And we could go on about a dispute over unpaid private jet bills, the whole Titanic II thing, and the $50 million he says he’ll spend on election campaigning this year. And don’t forget there's also the collapse of Queensland Nickel in 2016 owing $300 million, which liquidators will attempt to recover. There won’t be many other political candidates fronting up for this election with that sort of legal to-do list...


China has confirmed it has detained Australian citizen/academic Yang Hengjun (who also goes by the name Henry). Yang travelled to China with his wife and her daughter on Saturday and friends and colleagues yesterday said they were concerned for his safety after he went missing. Enquiries led to the Chinese government confirming it has detained him. Our Department of Foreign Affairs said it’s trying to find out what the charges are, but a friend says it’s likely to be something related to national security or espionage. Yang has a profile in China as a blogger advocating for democratic reforms.

What we already knew was on the cards happened yesterday with PM Scott Morrison and Warren Mundine confirming prominent Indigenous businessman/former Labor Party president will be the Liberals’ candidate in the NSW seat of Gilmore. Mundine has not lived in the electorate (he lives in leafy Roseville on Sydney’s Upper North Shore) but says a long line of ancestors come from the area. Morrison took a swipe at Grant Schultz, the candidate who was ousted to make room of Mundine, saying; "You don't get to bully your way into a seat in the Liberal Party. That's not how it works." That’s a reference to claims made by outgoing MP Ann Sudmalis who said that she'd been forced her out by local party members. Labor leader Bill Shorten hasn't said a lot (other than Mundine was "unsuccessful for the Labor Party"), because why would you?

Years deep into an economic crisis, Venezuela is now in a political one. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó have sworn himself in as interim president, and US President Donald Trump was quick to recognise him as the interim leader. Tens of thousands gathered yesterday for the largest protest in a couple of years marking a historic date. They were calling for the removal of Socialist Party President Nicolás Maduro. He ‘won' a second term last year (in an election that international observers declared to be illegitimate) and was inaugurated a couple of weeks ago. Things have been so bad under Maduro's leadership the UN says 2.3 million people have fled the country with 90% of its citizens considered to be living below the poverty line. In 2017, Venezuelans lost on average 11kg in body weight. There are concerns authorities will turn against the protesters so watch this space.

The Zimbabwean Government's own human rights commission has strongly criticised the way the military has handled recent protests that have broken out over a hike in fuel prices from about A$1.90 to $4.60/litre. Their most disturbing claim is the army and police are torturing protesters, and there are cases of authorities entering homes at night and making men and boys lie on the ground where they were then beaten. President Emmerson Mnangagwa said abuses against civilians would not be tolerated. But a government spokesman was quoted as saying; "When things get out of hand, a bit of firmness is needed."

Serena Williams' 24th major title is still a dream. She was beaten yesterday in a stunning comeback by Czech player/world #7 Karolina Pliskova. Serena had four match points up her sleeve but went on to lose six games in a row in the final set. And Novak Djokovic is through to the semi-finals after a 52-minute match against Kei Nishikori ended with the Japanese player retiring injured. That's freed up some time for the Serbian to focus on other interests.

And while we have you, supermare Winx has been named the best racehorse in the world. Hope they give her an extra carrot this morning...

And the homeowners are happy their feathered friends to have the run of the place for half the year. That’s generous...


2.00pm (AEDT) - Australian Open Tennis Semi-Final - Petra Kvitová v Danielle Rose Collins

3.30pm (AEDT) - Australian Open Tennis Semi-Final - Karolína Plíšková v Naomi Osaka

7.30pm (AEDT) - Australian Open Tennis Semi-Final - Stefanos Tsitsipas v Rafael Nadal

US Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour to speak at an Australian Open Inspirational Series event - Melbourne

ABS Data Release - Labour Force, December

International Day of Education

Anniversary of the death of Winston Churchill (1965)

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