Squiz Today / 20 October 2020

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 20 October


"Part of the rock pantheon."

Said the lawyer for US metal band Twisted Sister's record company Universal Music. It’s suing mining billionaire/political operative Clive Palmer for the use of the band’s 1984 anthem We're Not Gonna Take It during his party’s failed 2019 federal election tilt. Also not taking it: those who can’t stand seeing the song exalted…



Some Mondays do ‘ave ‘em… Three federal investigations were confirmed yesterday: two looking into the conduct of government representatives, and another into the dealings of Crown Resorts. All are high profile affairs.


Roger that. AUSTRAC (which you might remember from episodes co-starring Westpac and the Commonwealth Bank…) yesterday confirmed it is investigating the gaming operator for potential breaches of anti-money laundering and counterterrorism financing laws. Last year, the regulator commenced an assessment of the claims made against the company after Nine published an exposé alleging Asian organised crime figures were laundering their ill-gotten gains through Crown’s casinos in Melbourne and Perth. After finding cause for concern, it yesterday announced a formal investigation. The development comes on top of the NSW gaming regulator looking at Crown’s suitability to hold a casino licence for its new site in Sydney with chairman Helen Coonan giving evidence again today. Crown yesterday said it would "fully cooperate" with AUSTRAC, but investors weren't impressed with its share price taking an 8.25% dive yesterday.


The head of the Home Affairs Department Michael Pezzullo confirmed his people are helping the NSW anti-corruption commission investigate allegations that former Wagga MP Daryl Maguire was involved in a 'cash-for-visas' scheme. Criminal action against those involved in the scam could be taken, he said. Meanwhile, federal Infrastructure boss Simon Atkinson had to answer some curly questions about his Department's purchase of land in Sydney’s west from Liberal Party donors. The block could eventually become a second runway at the new airport that’s under construction. Picked up for $29.8 million in mid-2018, the land was valued at $3 million a year later. The Federal Police last week confirmed it was investigating potential "criminal offences". "I want to get to the bottom of what happened,” Atkinson told Labor’s Penny Wong during a Senate hearing yesterday. The case has put a spotlight back on the development of a federal Integrity Commission with the Morrison Government promising to release draft legislation soon.



Those Kiwis… Since coming to NSW and the Northern Territory from Friday under a program described by our new favourite COVID-era term - the ‘one-way travel bubble' - more than 100 have continued their journey to 'non-bubbly' Victoria, Tasmania, South and Western Oz. It was off to quarantine for those who went on to Tassie, SA and WA with those states maintaining border controls. And in Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews yesterday said his state was getting on with it given there is no restriction on people in Australia travelling there. Meanwhile, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the further lifting of restrictions on hospitality and events - with some conditions. For example, up to 300 people will be allowed to attend weddings, but the ban on dancing remains. “Every man in the state cannot thank her enough,” tweeted one bloke who left his dancing shoes in 2019...


Police are looking for two men seen running from the scene of the shooting death of the younger brother of the leader of the Brothers For Life gang yesterday morning. Mejid Hamzy was killed in a drive-by shooting in Sydney’s southwest yesterday morning, and police are on high alert due to concerns it may trigger a gang war. Mejid’s brother Bassam Hamzy, one of Australia’s most notorious underworld figures, started the gang from prison 12 years ago after converting to radical Islam. He remains in jail for murder but was caught using a smuggled phone while behind bars to run a drug network, organise kidnappings and shootings. He is currently in Goulburn Supermax prison. Reports say Mejid had recently sought to distance himself from Bassam. Police said a motive for the killing is unclear.


While many nations reel from the economic shock of COVID, the world’s second-largest economy has posted more strong results. While not as high as economists’ forecasts of 5.2%, official data showed China’s economy grew by 4.9% in the July-September quarter - an improvement on the second quarter’s 3.2% growth. Despite China leading the way in pandemic recovery, the lower-than-expected result highlighted concerns that global consumption could sink as another wave of coronavirus hits Europe and the US. But when it comes to feeling buoyant, Australia is on the up and up. The Lowy Institute's annual Asia Power Index puts us in sixth spot after the US, China, Japan, India and Russia for regional influence due to our handling of the pandemic, as well as our foreign aid donations to South-East Asia and the Pacific regions this year. And strengthening our military connections can’t hurt - except maybe our relationship with China…


One thing the UK’s departure from the European Union has been is intense. And so the EU’s offer overnight to “intensify” talks to get a deal done before the end of the year takes things to another level... Last week, UK PM Boris Johnson warned there could be a no-deal Brexit on 31 December. Wait, what? To recap: the UK left the EU on 30 January and is now well into an 11-month transition period when trade and security deals were to be agreed. But negotiations have broken down, and last Thursday the EU demanded the UK compromise on the sticking points of fair competition rules, dispute resolution and fisheries. That didn’t bother Johnson much saying the UK's fallback is an "Australian-style" arrangement where UK-EU trade will be governed by World Trade Organisation rules. Also of concern - Johnson’s preparedness to overrule parts of the withdrawal agreement signed with the EU last year - something critics say would break international law. It's going to be another nail-biter...


…Canberra Raiders' Jack Wighton. He’s taken out the 2020 Dally M Medal as the league’s best and fairest player - but not without some controversy. The Daily Telegraph published the winner’s name before the ceremony had concluded, later apologising for the mistake. The blunder means it could be the last time the media receive embargoed results. To counter the leak, officials took the phones of the frontrunners and “it worked out all right in the end,” said Wighton. It certainly did as he beat out the favourite Nathan Cleary from the Penrith Panthers. Wighton’s the first Raider in 25 years to win the medal. Taking out the Dally M female player of the year was Brisbane Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw.


Everywhere we turned yesterday, this post-election interview was being lauded/criticised/commented on. It’s certainly worth a look if you’re interested in how journos handle difficult customers…

Tab Cola? Still a thing in the US - but not for long. So good for beautiful people

And we know Tasweigiens are some of the nicest people going around, but it turns out that their magpies are too. Must be something in the water…


NSW HSC exams commence

World Osteoporosis Day

World Statistics Day

International Chefs Day

Birthdays for director Danny Boyle (1956), US Senator and VP Democratic nominee Kamala Harris (1964) and rapper Snoop Dogg (1971)

Anniversary of:
• US President Abraham Lincoln formally establishing Thanksgiving as a national holiday (1864)
• the publication of the third and final volume of JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King (1955)
• the opening of the Sydney Opera House by Queen Elizabeth II (1973)
• Joko Widodo becoming President of Indonesia (2014)

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