Squiz Today / 21 August 2018

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 21 August


"I would recognise Parky if he was standing behind me - in a diving suit."

Scottish comedian Billy Connolly has rejected statements made about his failing health by his friend and talk show king Michael Parkinson. Connolly has Parkinson’s Disease and dementia but reports say he's "as sharp and hilarious as ever". Parky will no doubt be delighted to hear it.


PM Malcolm Turnbull yesterday confirmed he'd adjust (his critics say ditch) a key component of his energy policy, the National Energy Guarantee – but it might not be enough to keep the support of his senior colleagues and ward off a challenge from Peter Dutton.

It depends on where you sit.

• Coalition government members – reports say Turnbull’s days could be numbered. Putting speculation of a Peter Dutton leadership challenge aside, Turnbull’s capitulation on energy policy to accommodate a small group of renegades has even loyal members questioning his ability to lead them to victory at the next election.

• Labor – smiles all around. To mangle the saying; never interrupt your enemy while they’re doing it tough.

• Business and the energy industry – they aren’t happy. The new proposal that could see them forcibly broken up if they don’t reduce high power costs to consumers is yet another change in direction that could further undermine confidence in the sector.

It's Tuesday, so you know what that means? Anyone? Coalition members meet for their regular pow-wow about the issues of the day. Oh to be a fly on the wall… Longer term? Let's get through today first…


Stevan Utah has won his case to claim refugee status after fleeing to Canada a decade ago. His application was approved after Canada’s immigration board upheld his claim that he had been abandoned by Aussie authorities who blew his cover after he’d infiltrated the Bandidos bikie gang. After exhausting his options for protection in Australia, Canada found there was a “corruption, ineptness and structural difficulties” that meant Utah’s life was at risk. “I am now not Australian,” he said.

POPE FRANCIS ADDRESSES LATEST CHILD ABUSE SCANDAL – A letter from the Pope released by the Vatican says; “no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated," he wrote. It follows a report from Pennsylvania detailing decades of child abuse at the hands of 300 priests.

KOREAN REUNIONS – More than 170 South Koreans have travelled to North Korea to see family members they were separated from in the war in the 50s. It's been three years since the last reunion and family members will spend just a few hours together over three days – not a lot of time given some will have spent 70 years apart.

LUCKY TO BE ALIVE - British woman Kay Longstaff fell off a cruise ship off the Croatian coast on Saturday night and was rescued 10 hours later. A rescuer said she sang to keep her mind off the cold water. Must have been one hell of a mega-medley…

After a challenging few years when it was under pressure from a resurgent Coles and a growing Aldi, Woolworths supermarkets yesterday announced its strongest sales result for ages. Profit across the group (also including Dan Murphy’s/BWS, pubs, Big W and petrol divisions) was up by 12.5% to $1.7 billion in 2017-18. That’s the good news. But since the start of July, removing single-use plastic bags from stores in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and WA and Coles' Little Shop phenomenon has slowed Woolies' sales down. Plastic, in its many shapes and forms, is bedevilling the joint.

Tennis’ Mr Nice Guy Roger Federer lost his cool yesterday in a rare show of anger on the court. Playing frenemy Novak Djokovic in the final of the Cincinnati Masters, Federer had a go at a spectator and the umpire and was issued with an obscenity violation for his troubles. Djokovic went on to win the match despite saying he wasn’t playing his best tennis. What a stirrer... PS how ugly is the trophy?

US$25.2 million – that's how much Crazy Rich Asians made on its debut weekend in the US. It topped the box office and has earned US$34 million in total since opening late last week.

US$425 – that’s how much Kevin Spacey’s Billionaire's Boys Club made with its debut this weekend. The film was shot before a raft of assault allegations were made against Spacey. He could probably jot a thank you note to every attendee…


8.00am (AEST) - Governor of the Reserve Bank Philip Lowe to speak at the launch ASIC's National Financial Capability Strategy 2018 (just nod...)

ABS Data Release - Producer Price Indexes, June

Company Earnings Announcement - Healthscope

Eid al Adha - a significant Islamic holiday

Usain Bolt's birthday (1986) - lookout Central Coast...

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