Squiz Today / 16 July 2019

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 16 July


"When I saw there was a combination of heavy metal and knitting, I thought 'that's my niche.'"

Says Scottish performer Jodie McLaren on what drew her to compete in Finland’s Heavy Metal Knitting Competition at the weekend, in which contestants knit to the rhythm of heavy metal music. Put it on your bucket list - by all accounts, it's a purler.


Payback has emerged as the motive behind what has been described by Papua New Guinea’s police minister as the worst massacre of civilians in the country's history. PNG's Prime Minister James Marape described the Highlands clansmen who perpetrated the violence as "warlords". They killed 23 women - two of whom were pregnant - and nine children last week.

Last week, shocking pictures emerged of the bodies of innocents, murdered in their village of Karida by members of a rival tribe. An eyewitness described the carnage, saying some of the victims had been so brutally attacked they were unrecognisable. The motive for the killings was not immediately apparent, but reports yesterday suggested warring tribesmen had taken the unusual step of targeting women and children as payback for the death of their tribe leader’s elderly mother in a previous raid.

The death toll has been revised upwards to 32 after PNG police minister Bryan Kramer visited Karida to pay his respects to victims and their families. Writing on a local news website yesterday, Kramer said that while inter-tribal violence was not a new phenomenon in PNG, the “killing of innocent women and children in tribal conflicts until recently was unheard of.” He added: “Last week’s merciless killings have changed everything. The immediate concern is that it will become the new trend.” Sobering to think this happens on Australia’s doorstep.



Police on the NSW mid-north coast yesterday confirmed human bones found on Shelly Beach near Port Macquarie belong to missing French backpacker, Erwan Ferrieux. The 21yo was last seen near the beach in February along with his 20yo British travelling companion Hugo Palmer who is also missing. Towels, sunglasses and car keys belonging to the pair were found at the time in their rental car, parked at the beach. Police say they believe the pair drowned. Ferrieux’s bones were found to the south of Shelly Beach. DNA testing is currently being undertaken on another human bone, found further up the coast, to determine if it belongs to either of the young men.

Meanwhile, there was a tragic end yesterday to the extensive police search for missing 21yo Melbourne student Poshik Sharma. A body was found in Marysville in the Victorian high country, not far from where Sharma was last seen on Friday afternoon. Police are not treating the death as suspicious.


The national broadcaster yesterday continued to rail against the AFP Federal Police raid on its Ultimo headquarters last month, revealing that the Feds wrote in the weeks leading up to the raid, requesting the fingerprints of journalists responsible for damaging reports about Australian soldiers fighting in Afghanistan. It was described as “a chilling development” by the news organisation’s head of investigations. Meanwhile, the AFP lost its top cop after Commissioner Andrew Colvin announced he was stepping down, saying it was the best decision for him and his family.


On this day 50 years ago, a trio of American astronauts blasted off in Apollo 11 on what would become a history-making journey to the moon. Meanwhile yesterday, India's emerging space program suffered a setback when the launch of a rocket bound for the lunar south pole had to be aborted just 56 minutes before lift-off. A “technical snag” was blamed for the delay. If successful, the moon landing will make India the fourth nation in history (behind the US, the former USSR and China) to execute a soft landing on the moon’s surface - and the first to do so on the moon’s south pole. The unmanned mission (with a new launch date yet to be announced) will land a rover on the moon’s surface to search for minerals - and the Eldorado of interplanetary exploration - water.


KIWIS KIBOSH AMP SALE - AMP shareholders were left in the lurch yesterday after New Zealand’s central bank kiboshed the $3.4 billion sale of the wealth manager’s life insurance business to a local company. It means the embattled wealth manager will not pay a dividend in the first half of this financial year. The market responded by sending AMP shares on a slide to a new record low of $1.82.

CHINA ECONOMY IN GO-SLOW MODE - In a sign its trade war with the US is starting to bite, China yesterday posted the worst economic growth figures since the early 1990s. Second quarter growth was only 6.2%, according to the Chinese bureau of statistics. And yes, Trump tweeted.


It’s been 20 years since John Kennedy Jnr, his wife Carolyn Bessette and her sister, Laura were killed when the light plane he was piloting went down in waters off Martha’s Vineyard. And to mark the occasion, the airwaves and bookshelves in the US have been flooded with JFK Jr memorials. On Saturday there was the broadcast of “JFK Jr and Carolyn’s Wedding: The Lost Tapes” and this week sees the publication of “America’s Reluctant Prince” by a friend of the late Kennedy family scion. The book claims Carolyn felt trapped by the high-profile marriage and that John considered a tilt at politics. But really, all we want to do is look at these iconic photos again.


Pharell wore shorts, the African savannah came to London’s Leicester Square, and Jay-Z's 'fro needed its own postcode - but it was the meeting of a queen and a duchess that had royal watchers agog yesterday at the London premiere of Disney’s The Lion King. We’re talking Queen Bey (aka Beyonce) and the Duchess of Sussex (aka Meghan Markle). The pop diva, who gives voice to Nala the lioness in the re-imagined classic, warmly embraced her compatriot on the red carpet while their husbands were overheard exchanging parenting tips. Don’t believe us? Check out the photo gallery here and here. You’re welcome.


11.30am (AEST) - Reserve Bank July Meeting Minutes released

50th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Apollo 11 mission sending Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins towards the moon

Anniversary of the execution of Russian Czar Nicholas II, his wife and their five children by Bolsheviks (1918)

2am (AEST) on Wednesday morning: Australia v Malawi in the Netball World Cup

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