Squiz Today / 21 May 2019

Squiz Today – Tuesday, 21 May


"Hope you enjoyed your evening!”

Tweeted the British restaurant Hawksmoor Manchester to a couple who didn't get what they ordered at the bar - not that they were unhappy. Asking for a $480 Bordeaux, they were instead served a bottle worth $8,200. The happy ending - the diners were not pinged for the mistake, and the bar's manager said the waitress was "brilliant" and he wouldn't criticise her for the mistake. Cheers to that.


PM Scott Morrison returned to work yesterday as the Labor Party stared down the question of “what next” after its shock defeat in the weekend’s election. Deputy leader and Sydney MP Tanya Plibersek ruled out a run for the party’s top job saying she believed she had the numbers to mount a successful tilt, but “now is not my time.” That’s because “I cannot reconcile the important responsibilities I have to my family with the additional responsibilities of the Labor leadership.” That leaves the party members’ choice in Labor’s last leadership ballot, Anthony Albanese, as the frontrunner with policy disposal on his mind. Other candidates said to be considering a run are shadow treasurer Chris Bowen, finance spokesman Jim Chalmers and defence spokesman Richard Marles.

Patience… Former PM Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth has been declared in Liberal Dave Sharma’s favour. That ends Kerryn Phelps’ months-long stint in the parliament… for now. And Boothby in South Oz has been put in the Coalition’s column as a win for MP Nicolle Flint. But long story short: yesterday’s counting has the Electoral Commission predicting the Coalition will finish up with 78 seats (and able to form government in its own right), Labor with 67, and the independents/minor parties with six seats.

Some analysis is being done on what happened around the traps that saw voters defy expectations to support the Coalition. Spoiler alert: there’ll be a lot more of that… But from one bubble to another - investors liked the newsof a Coalition victory. Bigly. Sectors expected to be negatively impacted by a Labor government - banks, private health and property - had a happy Monday with the ASX surging to an 11-year high. Fun fact - the last time that happened Labor’s Kevin Rudd had not long been elected to lead the country.



"Never threaten the United States again!" tweeted US President Donald Trump at Iran yesterday after a rocket exploded near their Embassy in Iraq on Sunday night. And Iran responded saying "genocidal taunts won't ‘end Iran'". Fears of armed conflict between America and Iran have been running high after Trump ordered warships and bombers to the region earlier this month to counter an unexplained threat. Pre-tweet, Trump had appeared to soften his tone, saying he hoped a war with Iran was not on the cards.


Upping the stakes in the push against Chinese telco giant Huawei, Google has suspended Huawei’s access to updates of its Android operating system. That’s a problem for Huawei (the world’s second largest global smartphone producer after Samsung) because it uses Google’s Android operating system. What it means is the next version of its smartphones outside China would lose access to popular applications like the Gmail app. Google is not making a political statement - it’s complying with a new executive order made by President Trump restricting American companies’ interactions with Huawei due to security concerns. Huawei has said it’s developing its own operating system.


Hundreds of protestors marched on Alabama’s capitol at the weekend to protest legislators’ ban on abortion. Last week the state’s governor ushered in laws making abortion a felony in nearly all cases, but it’s expected to be blocked in the courts before it can be enacted. And that deliberately sets the debate up for a collision with Supreme Court rulings that allow abortions up to 24 weeks during pregnancy in certain circumstances. Heard about it and want to know more? The New York Times’ podcast The Daily has an excellent episode on it.


And we thought egging was bad… High profile Aussie politicians can count their lucky stars that the election is over before the phenomenon of ‘milkshaking’ arrived. The activity is as advertised - it’s the throwing of a milkshake at controversial politicians to cause maximum humiliation because of its high impact splatter. And the latest incident happened overnight to pro-Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage. There was scoffing over the weekend when police asked a McDonald’s restaurant near a venue where Farage was speaking to put a lid on milkshake sales for a bit. PM Theresa May condemned the practice (possibly while doing a check on her raincoat collection…). Oh, and the flavour used on Farage? Banana and salted caramel.


If you hear ‘Cooper Cronk’ and think it’s a contraption used to repair Mini automobiles, you might like to read on… Cronk is a giant of rugby league and his time is coming to an end with the announcement of his retirement at the end of this season. Cronk already has 357 NRL appearances under his belt as well as 38 games for Australia and 22 State Of Origin outings for Queensland. He also won all the awards, some of them a few times. But it was his role as a hard working team player that bowled people over. "From my days starting out I was more than happy to be an interchange player and play a number of roles for that football team. I didn't have the best kick, pass or running game, but I did have a good work ethic,” he said yesterday.

And while we have you… Wallaby Israel Folau has let the window to appeal his sacking by Rugby Australia lapse because he says he doesn’t believe he’d get a fair hearing. All eyes are now on whether he takes it to court.


Sure, it doesn’t have dragons or a hotly-contested Iron Throne – but that hasn’t stopped everyone’s favourite card game, Uno, being the talk of the town. Why? Because the game’s creators threw generations of players into a spin earlier this month when news swept the internet that the ‘stacking rule’ – permitting the stacking of a +2 card on a +4 card (or vice versa) – is actually against the rules. The internet protested, but the game’s creators stood firm. And a refresher on the rules is here. See? There’s not a GoT spoiler in sight.


1.10pm (AEST) - Speech by Reserve Bank Governor Philip Lowe at the Economic Society of Australia Business Lunch - Brisbane

ABS Data Release - Producer Price Indexes, March

UN World Day for Cultural Diversity

Start of the Chelsea Flower Show (on until 25 May) - London

Birthday for Gotye (1980) - he’s just somebody that you used to know

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