Squiz Today / 17 April 2018

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 17 April


"Did you hear that Woolworths’ systems are down down, systems are down?”

Said one social media wag after Woolies' checkouts crashed for half an hour in 500 stores yesterday afternoon. Shoppers were forced to abandon their trolleys as the supermarket abandoned a tonne of sales. Ouch.


Lieutenant General Angus Campbell was yesterday named Australia’s next Chief of Defence. He will replace Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin in our military’s top job in July overseeing our army, navy and air force. Campbell beat out Vice Chief of Defence Ray Griggs who many expected to get the top job. Griggs has been the subject of recent media attention over his personal life.

We haven’t seen the Ancestry.com test, but five bucks says he has Scottish heritage. And his Army CV says he likes gardening. But you’re wondering about his work experience, right?

• Campbell has been Chief of Army since 2015. He is a longtime soldier who served in East Timor and is a former Commander of our forces in the Middle East.

• He was seconded to the Immigration Department to head up the Abbott Government’s ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’ to “stop the boats”. It was in that job that Campbell copped a lot of heat from the media for his secretive approach (remember the phrase “on-water matters”?) and from Labor who accused him of participating in a political cover-up.

• Last year, Campbell’s push to recruit more women into the Army was mocked.

Despite the slings and arrows, Labor and military pundits had good things to say about him yesterday.

• Australia is currently involved in eight operations overseas including in the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan.

• Terrorism is a constant threat and Islamic State’s fight in the Philippines last year means those elements are closer to home than we’d like. We contributed support to the Philippines government to combat IS there and via the US-led Coalition efforts in Syria.

• Then there’s China’s rise and what that means for our regional strategic paradigm (fancy, aren’t we…). And there’s a whole lotta angst about Russia.

So who’s working to keep us safe and representing us on battlefields abroad matters quite a bit.


Former FBI Director James Comey yesterday declared US President Donald Trump “morally unfit to be president” and likened his administration to a mafia family. But enough with the sweet-talk, he says it’s the American people’s job to deal with him at the next election, not for Congress to impeach him. Comey’s book is out in a couple of days.* And you can watch highlights of the interview here.

*Pre-order this book from Booktopia and we get a little commission.

Speaking of blokes who have a bit to say about Trump… French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday said it was he who convinced Trump to stay in Syria for the time being. "Ten days ago, President Trump said it was the USA’s intention to disengage from Syria. We convinced him that it was necessary to stay," Macron said. He also claimed it was France that convinced Trump that the strikes had to be limited to suspected chemical weapons sites. Which brings to mind the phrase “Those who know don’t talk. Those who talk don’t know.”

After a quick stop in Singapore to see a new grandchild (on his own dime), PM Malcolm Turnbull is off to represent us at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (or CHOGM as it’s known to aficionados) that will bring together leaders from 53 nations this week. The main agenda item is who will replace the Queen as head of Commonwealth. The hot money is on Prince Charles. One question though – why wouldn’t they schedule the meeting to coincide with the Commonwealth Games? Anyway… After that Turnbull will travel to Germany and Brussels, finishing at Villers-Bretonneux for an Anzac Day ceremony.

But with two different assailants and a continent separating them…

• Two surfers were involved in separate shark attacks near Gracetown in Western Australia yesterday – both say a 4 metre shark was involved in the encounters. Yikes! The first attack saw organisers of the Margaret River Pro surfing competition suspended the event temporarily after the victim suffered significant leg injuries. The second attack resulted in damage to a board.

• Health experts have warned that there is a flesh-eating ulcer epidemic in parts of regional Victoria. They say cases went up from 182 in 2016 to 236 cases in the first 11 months of 2017. You might want to leave reading the details until after breakfast...

Games chairman Peter Beattie yesterday said responsibility for the poorly received closing ceremony rested with him. And there’s some dispute about what Aussie Games broadcaster Seven knew about the runsheet for the night. But the day belonged to flag-bearer and legend para-athlete Kurt Fearnley who urged calm. “I will engage with everyone when there is a real solid circumstance to blow up. When people with wheelchairs get kicked off our airlines, when they are being kicked out of facilities for being fire hazards, when they’re not getting access to education, when they are issues with employment, I will fire up and I will grab everyone along with me." That's called perspective.


12.30pm (AEST) - Bill Morrow, Chief Executive of nbn to address the National Press Club on 'The nbn effect – how fast broadband is changing the face of Australia' - Canberra

9.00pm - Andrew Denton returns to our screens with interview on Seven

ABS Data Release - Census Data on Estimating Homelessness, 2016

World Haemophilia Day 

Syrian National Day

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