Squiz Today / 29 June 2017

Squiz Today – Thursday, 29 June


"The singing shall be mandatory and must be done with fervour."

The Philippines passed new laws this week that dictate the correct way their citizens should sing the national anthem. When we used to sing the Aussie anthem at the start of the school day, we had a friend who (in good faith) used to sing “Australian sunset ostriches” for “Australian sons let us rejoice” (as it was in those days). She probably would have been locked up under the Philippines laws…


Starting on Tuesday in Russia and Ukraine before spreading in Europe, the UK and US, India and Australia, the Petya malware attack (or NotPetya as the cyber security world are calling it) is a nasty one. Reports this morning say the attack may have started via a corrupt software update for a Ukrainian tax application called MODoc and has some extra features that make it more destructive than the recent Wannacry attack. "It only takes one unpatched computer to get inside the network, and the malware can get administrator rights and spread to other computers," said one expert. The virus freezes the user's computer and demands a $300 ransom be paid in Bitcoin.

Large pharmaceutical, logistics and advertising companies, a large law firm, an airport, banks, the Chernobyl radiation detection system are some of those shutdown or significantly affected by the attack. Anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab said about 2,000 attacks have occurred, most are in Ukraine, Russia and Poland. And as serious as that all sounds, most distressing is production at Tasmania’s Cadbury factory was shut down due to a global IT outage across parent company Mondelz. Prepare to don the hysteria pants, people!

All you can do is follow the basics.

1. Back up your files regularly so if you are attacked you have them anyway. Suck on that hackers!

2. Make sure your computer is updated with all the security and operating system patches – particularly for Microsoft Windows. 

3. Don’t open any email attachments you’re not sure of. In fact, don’t ever open an attachment you’re not sure of. Ever. 


Governing body FIFA (itself no stranger to corruption) has released a report that outlines some OTT efforts to win World Cup bid votes. There's a questionable $500,000 payment by Australia for stadium upgrades in Trinidad and Tobago during our bid for the 2022 World Cup (ultimately we got one vote for $45 million taxpayer-funded bid). The Brits are said to have offered honorary knighthoods, meetings with the Queen, and jobs at their top clubs in their bid for the 2018 World Cup. The report says former PM David Cameron and Prince William were at a meeting where a banned vote-swapping arrangement (you vote for us, we’ll vote for you in future bids) was discussed with South Korea. It all came to nought – Russia won the bid for 2018, Qatar for 2022. FIFA says the conduct may not have met their ethical standards. Pot, kettle, black?

In what sounds more like an action movie plot, rogue Venezuelan police are said to be responsible for dropping grenades from a helicopter on the Supreme Court in Caracas yesterday. Venezuela is going through some big troubles right now – there have been mass protests drawing a heavy-handed response from the government killing 70 demonstrators. Their economy is in the toilet, ruined by low oil prices and high inflation.

Since her amazing Melbourne Cup-winning ride in 2015, the nation’s darling Michelle Payne has had a pretty tough trot. Payne will today pony up to an inquiry of Victorian racing officials to answer questions about a positive drug test for a banned appetite suppressant. If found guilty, officials will tell her to whoa for a while on a one-to-two month ban. Last year, Payne had a bad fall that threatened her career but she’s back in the saddle again. In fact, just last week Payne met the Queen while riding at Royal Ascot. She’s a tough (and it seems hungry) lady – but she won't have a chance to strap on the feedbag coming into the Spring Racing Carnival…

The Oxford English Dictionary announced yesterday they’re adding 600 new words, sayings and senses to its list – some uplifting, some depressing. 'Hygge' is our favourite – it’s Danish for “a quality of cosiness and comfortable conviviality that engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being.” Nice. ‘Thing’ has become a thing - literally. And we learned something new – ‘woke’ means to be “alert to racial or social discrimination and injustice”. But we’re not thrilled ‘post-truth’ has made it in – it’s defined as “occurring after or resulting from a disclosure of truth”. Possibly a bit like Christopher Pyne's apology today.

WILLIAMS’ LOVE STORY...  Serena Williams got her kit off to appear on the cover of this month’s Vanity Fair mag. She talks about meeting and falling in love with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian and finding our about her pregnancy just before a Berlei bra event while in Melbourne for the Australian Open. Check it out here.

MORMONS MOVE WITH THE TIMES… Employees of the Mormon Church in the US will be eligible for maternity leave and – wait for it – women will be allowed to wear pants. Talk about progress!

PADDINGTON BEAR CREATOR DIES... Michael Bond, the 91yo creator of Paddington Bear, died at his home after a short illness. Paddington made his first appearance in 1958 in the book A Bear Called Paddington. He was remembered as a kind and gentle man.

ACTOR DIES … Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist has died from lung cancer at 56yo. He played journalist Mikael Blomkvist in the locally made version (in our view the best version) of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and other Millennium trilogy movies. He leaves behind a wife and two children. 


ABS Data Releases - Job Vacancies, May; National Accounts - Finance and Wealth, March

HIA New Home Sales Report, May

US President Donald Trump to host South Korean President Moon Jae-in in Washington DC for discussions on North Korea

10th anniversary of the iPhone

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