Squiz Today / 13 March 2018

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 13 March


"I hate journalists… What passes for a daily newspaper in this city is a joke and it will be only a matter of years before it closes down."

Said Andrew Barr, Chief Minister of the ACT government, defying the conventional wisdom that you should never pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel.


US President Donald Trump has a lot of pots on the boil at the moment with some major domestic and international events (think Florida school massacre and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s offer to meet) and new policies (think tariffs on steel and aluminium). And according to insiders, Trump is having the time of his life.

Well, things move quickly. The update is:

• Meeting with North Korea - CIA Director Mike Pompeo says it’s good that Trump will meet with Kim. “President Trump isn’t doing this for theatre. He’s going to solve a problem,” he said.

• New tariffs – China says it doesn’t want a trade war. As the 11th largest exporter of steel and 4th largest of aluminium to the US, maybe China’s picking its fights? The European Union is certainly worked up about it. PM Malcolm Turnbull confirmed yesterday Australia would not (and probably could not) complain about Trump’s tariffs to the World Trade Organisation because of our exemption.

• Gun control – Trump's words almost two weeks ago haven't translated into action (at this point anyway). The White House yesterday committed to measures that commentators say won't upset the NRA.

What do we look like? Nostradamus? Sadly we only have clichés like 'uncertainty is the new black'. But what's coming through is that Trump has broken away from the control of his chief of staff John Kelly. And there’s a state of flux at the White House with key advisers leaving and close family/staff (think first daughter Ivanka and Jared Kushner) under pressure. Maybe chaos is the new order?


Turnbull Government Assistant Minister for Children and Families David Gillespie has told News Corp that rules dictating indigenous children at risk of abuse can only be placed with relatives or other indigenous families should be relaxed. Acknowledging concerns about creating another Stolen Generation, Gillespie said; “I’ve had my eyes opened in the last couple of weeks … looking at STD rates (among Aboriginal children) is just mind-blowing.’’ Indigenous leader Warren Mundine said he was upset many Australians protested against “Invasion Day’’ but are silent on indigenous child abuse.

• Forty-nine people died when a US-Bangla airlines plane crashed at Kathmandu’s international airport while landing late yesterday. The civil aviation director said the plane was out of control.

• A private plane bringing a hens party home to Turkey from Dubai has crashed in Iran. On board were eight party-goers, including heiress Mina Basaran, and three crew.

• A New York helicopter ride ended in disaster Sunday night local time when it crashed into the East River killing five passengers. The pilot was able to get out of the sinking chopper. Engine failure is thought to be responsible.

A beloved deputy headmaster sacked after giving a student a pre-school-photos haircut has either paid the price for overstepping the mark or has been "sacrificed on the altar of political correctness", depending on your viewpoint. The principal and chairman of Melbourne's Trinity College are holding their ground on Rohan Brown’s dismissal after 30 years at the school. But many parents, students and local politicians want him reinstated. A meeting scheduled for tonight will be a big one. Wonder what Trinity would make of Queensland’s announcement yesterday allowing girls to wear shorts and pants to school?

We used to love nothing more than getting a good tan over the summer holidays. Now that we’re older/wiser, we rarely leave the house without sunscreen, hat, covering layers and more sunscreen. So this melanoma test based on the world's largest skin cancer study run by the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute was great to do. It’s for people aged 40-70yo and researchers say’s its been proven to be accurate. Still, doctors say get your skin checked.

And that’s in US dollars, thank you very much. It’s the 33rd movie (and 7th superhero flick) to join the elite box office club. And in coming weeks, the Disney/Marvel film is expected to break all sorts of other records. With a predominantly black cast, the film was seen as a risky undertaking for studios that usually bank on tried and tested formulae. And it’s had great reviews. It’s officially on our to-see list.

Hubert de Givenchy has died at 91yo. Founding his business in 1952, Givenchy was known for his elegant designs worn by Audrey Hepburn, Jackie Kennedy and Grace Kelly. He created the ‘little black dress’ and the concept of ‘separates' – high-quality blouses, skirts, pants and jackets that could be mixed and matched. Bought by luxury group LVMH in 1988 and retiring some years later, his name lives on. "He will be greatly missed," tweeted the brand.


10.00am (AEDT) - Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry to hear its first witness testimony (round one hearings are on until 23 March) - Melbourne

ABS Data Releases - Housing Finance, January; Building Approvals, January

Coeliac Awareness Week 

Pope Francis marks five years as the Catholic Church's supreme pontiff

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